Georgia Governor Calls Up National Guard, Declares State of...
Kevin C. Cox
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is activating up to 1,000 National Guard troops after a spate of shootings and protests in Atlanta over the weekend. Five people died, including an 8-year-old girl, and at least 30 people were injured.. The Republican governor issued an executive order Monday that would send the Guard to protect the state Capitol, the Governor's Mansion and the Department of Public Safety Headquarters, where close to 100 demonstrators set fire to part of the building early Sunday morning.
In the order, Kemp slammed Atlanta officials that "have failed to quell ongoing violence" over an especially turbulent few months that has seen the resignation of the police chief, increased sick-outs of officers and two officers charged in a killing of a Black man by law enforcement.
"Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda," Kemp said. "Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot and left for dead... Enough with the tough talk, we must protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians."
The Atlanta Police Department is offering a reward in the killing of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner, who was shot Saturday night near the Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks was killed by a white police officer June 12. Sunday evening, a visibly frustrated Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms decried the violence that rocked the city over the Fourth of July weekend, asking for information about a group of armed individuals that blocked the road before firing into the car and striking Turner. "Enough is enough," Bottoms said. "We have talked about this movement that is happening across America at this moment in time when we have the ears and the interest of people across this country and across this globe who are saying they want to see change."
Less than 24 hours later, a 53-year-old man was also killed near the Wendy's and where Turner died.
Bottoms, who is considered to be a contender as former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate, received praise for her earlier handling of protests following the death of George Floyd but now faces criticism for the increase in crime.
Monday, Atlanta police erected concrete barriers around the burned-out restaurant and cleared out protesters and items left at a makeshift memorial.