The Governor of Georgia declared a state of emergency on Monday and authorized the activation of up to 1,000 US National Guard soldiers after a weekend of violence in Atlanta left five dead, including an eight-year-old girl.
A statement from Governor Brian Kemp’s office indicates that troops will provide support to certain locations, including the State Capitol and the governor’s mansion, thereby freeing up state law enforcement resources to patrol in other areas.
“Peaceful protests have been hijacked by criminals with a dangerous and destructive program. Now innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot and left for dead, “said the Republican governor. “This anarchy must be stopped and order must be restored in our capital. “
The deadly shooting of eight-year-old Secoriea Turner on Saturday night triggered a $ 10,000 news reward as authorities searched for at least two people who opened fire on the car in which she was driving near a flash point of recent demonstrations.
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Police returned to the scene Sunday evening to investigate another shooting, a few steps from where Secoriea was shot dead, which left one person dead and two others injured.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for justice in Secoriea’s death during an emotional press conference on Sunday with the mother of the distressed daughter.
“You can’t blame a police officer,” said the mayor. “You can’t say that about criminal justice reform. These are some people with guns who shot a car with an eight-year-old baby in the car for what? ”
“Enough is enough,” said Bottoms, who is black and announced Monday evening that she had tested positive for COVID-19. “If you want people to take us seriously and you don’t want us to lose this movement, we can’t get lost. “
COVID-19 literally hit the house. I had NO symptoms and I tested positive.
– Keisha Lance Bottoms (@KeishaBottoms) 6 juillet 2020
The murder occurred near the Wendy’s restaurant where a black man, Rayshard Brooks, was killed by a white police officer on June 12. The fast food restaurant was then set on fire, and the area has since become a site of frequent protests against police brutality.
Secoriea was killed on Saturday during a particularly violent night in Atlanta. The Kemp office said more than 30 people were injured by gunshots, five of whom died, over the holiday weekend.
Kemp’s order states that the declaration of a state of emergency is justified by “an unlawful assembly, violence, overt threats of violence, disturbances of the peace and tranquility of that state and dangers to them. people and property ”. The ordinance must remain in force until June 13 at least.
This recent trend towards anarchy is scandalous and unacceptable. Georgians, including those in uniform, must be protected from crime and violence. While we are ready to help local leaders restore peace and maintain order, we will not hesitate to act without them. https://t.co/NTacEm4v7o
– Governor Brian P Kemp (@GovKemp) July 6, 2020
Authorities said Secoriea was in the car with his mother and another adult when the driver tried to cross illegally placed barricades to get to a parking lot in the area. Armed individuals blocking the entrance opened fire on the vehicle, hitting it repeatedly and killing the child, police said.
“She was only eight,” said her mother, Charmaine Turner. “She would have been on TikTok dancing on her phone, she had just finished eating. We understand the frustration of Rayshard Brooks. We had nothing to do with it. We are innocent. My baby didn’t mean anything. ”
The girl just wanted to go home to see her cousins, said her father, Secoriya Williamson.
“They say black life is important,” he said. “You killed yours. “