Kemp Activates 1,000 National Guard After 'Dramatic Increase In Violent Crime' In Atlanta
Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday said he is activating up to 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops after an especially violent weekend in Atlanta that included the shooting death of an 8-year-old and protesters damaging part of the Georgia Department of Public Safety headquarters.
In an executive order, Kemp said that the City of Atlanta has "grappled with countless threats to public safety with riots, extensive property destruction and human injury in multiple communities" over the last two months, and that city officials "have failed to quell ongoing violence."
The Republican governor said the ongoing threat to public safety "will not be tolerated" and up to 1,000 troops can be activated to protect the state Capitol, DPS headquarters and the governor's mansion to allow state law enforcement to be freed up to patrol Atlanta and other communities.
"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."
On Sunday, the Georgia State Patrol said between 60-100 protesters marched to their headquarters and set off fireworks, threw rocks and damaged a vehicle parked outside early Sunday morning.
Also Sunday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said "enough is enough" following the death of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner, who was shot and killed near the Wendy's restaurant just south of downtown Atlanta where Rayshard Brooks was killed by a police officer last month.
"You can't blame this on a police officer; you can't say this is about criminal justice reform. This is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an 8-year-old baby," Bottoms said. "We are doing each other more harm than any police officer on this force."