Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) seemed to have had enough of all the shootings and other riot-related violence by this weekend, so on Monday, he issued an order for the National Guard to be activated and sent to Atlanta to assist the police in restoring order. It seemed like a perfectly reasonable response under the circumstances, as well as being an idea that New York, Illinois, Washington State and Oregon should probably be considering. But Atlanta’s Democratic Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, clearly didn’t see it that way. She quickly went to the press to complain about the order, claiming that it would make matters worse rather than better. (Associated Press)
The mayor of Atlanta said Tuesday that she doesn’t agree with the Georgia governor’s order to mobilize the National Guard in her city as a surge in violence became a political talking point.
Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency on Monday and authorized the activation of up to 1,000 Guard troops after a weekend of gun violence in Atlanta left five people dead, including an 8-year-old girl.
The Guard troops will provide support at sites including the Capitol and governor’s mansion, freeing up state law enforcement resources to patrol other areas, according to a statement from Kemp’s office. There was no visible presence of Guard troops at either site Tuesday morning.
The Mayor told Good Morning America, “at no time was it mentioned that anyone felt there was a need for the National Guard to come in.” The head of the state Democratic Party went even further, accusing the Governor of being “selfish” in issuing the order. How mobilizing the Guard is selfish or does anything to help the Governor was not explained.
Mayor Lance Bottoms seems to have a peculiar idea as to what does or doesn’t qualify as a crisis. In just three days over the 4th of July weekend, 31 people were shot in Atlanta, with five of them dying. Among the dead was an eight-year-old girl who was riding in the back seat of her mother’s car near the burned-out shell of the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was shot. The police still don’t even have a suspect in that killing.
And the police aren’t exactly getting a ton of support from the community. In northeast Atlanta’s Edgewood neighborhood, a man and a woman were both shot and taken to the hospital. But when the cops asked them for information about who had tried to kill them they refused to cooperate. It would seem that the public is more afraid of the gangs than the cops at this point.
In another incident shortly after midnight on Saturday, a large group of people in the downtown area were gathered to watch fireworks when a vehicle struck one of the pedestrians blocking the street. At that point “multiple people” drew handguns and began firing. Fourteen people wound up being shot.
The Mayor and the Atlanta Police Department do not have control of their streets. With the police clearly having instructions to hold back and not intervene with the rioting too much, criminals are becoming increasingly emboldened. Why on Earth wouldn’t you welcome in the National Guard to secure some of the more critical areas, freeing up the cops to do their jobs elsewhere? The city is full of frightened people right now, including many of every color, gender, sexual orientation, and every other demographic you’d care to name. It’s the Mayor’s job to keep them safe and provide a sense of normalcy so Atlanta’s citizens can go about their business.
Keisha Lance Bottoms is failing that test of leadership on a daily basis and trying to reject the help of the state government and the National Guard only underscores her poor decision-making skills during this crisis. And this is one of the people who are supposedly on Joe Biden’s shortlist for the veepstakes? God help us all.