Governor Kemp said criminals intercepted peaceful protests with a “dangerous, destructive agenda.”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has declared a state of emergency and deployed up to 1,000 National Guard troops in connection with aggressive protests in Atlanta.
Kemp, a Republican, said he signed the Executive order after “several weeks of a sharp increase in violent crime and property destruction in Atlanta.”
The Governor’s statement said that more than 30 residents of the state received gunshot wounds during the long holiday weekend, of which five people died.
Among the dead is an eight-year-old girl who was shot as she was driving in a car with her mother and another person.
Secoria Turner was killed Saturday night when a car tried to drive into a Parking lot where illegal fencing was installed, police said.
The shooting occurred near the spot where a subsequently fired Atlanta police officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks after he got into a fight with police and tried to run away with a stolen Taser.
“Over the past few weeks, there have been more than 75 shootings in the city,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, commenting on the death of an eight-year-old girl. “You can’t blame the Atlanta Police Department.”
The mayor made an emotional appeal to stop the violence.
“We shoot at each other on our streets in this city. You shot a child,” Bottoms said.” We do more harm to each other than any police officer in this division.”
After the death of George Floyd in late May, protests were held in downtown Atlanta, some of which were accompanied by looting and vandalism.
“Peaceful protests were intercepted by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now innocent residents of Georgia are being targeted, shot at, and left to die,” Kemp said.” We need to stop this lawlessness and restore order in our capital.”
“Enough harsh rhetoric. We must protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgia residents,” he added.
National Guard units will be sent to the state Capitol, the Georgia Department of public safety, and the Governor’s residence.