Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp on Monday authorized up to 1,000 National Guard troops to be deployed to Atlanta after the city’s mayor, Democrat Keisha Lance Bottoms, failed to stop the escalating violence in her city.
“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead,” Kemp said in a statement. “This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city. I have declared a State of Emergency and called up the Georgia Guard because the safety of our citizens comes first. This measure will allow troops to protect state property and dispatch state law enforcement officers to patrol our streets. Enough with the tough talk. We must protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”
Kemp’s statement said that the decision came after “weeks of dramatically increased violent crime and property destruction in the City of Atlanta” including the Fourth of July weekend where “over thirty Georgians wounded by gunfire, including five confirmed dead.”
“The Georgia Guard will provide support at state buildings, including the Georgia State Capitol, Georgia Department of Public Safety Headquarters, and Governor’s Mansion,” the statement said. “This aid will allow state law enforcement personnel to increase patrols on roadways and throughout communities, especially those in the City of Atlanta.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that the order came after Kemp said he would take action if “Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms failed to do so, a move that highlighted the complicated, and increasingly tense, relationship between two of the state’s most prominent politicians.”
Kemp tweeted late on Sunday night: “This recent trend of lawlessness is outrageous & unacceptable. Georgians, including those in uniform, need to be protected from crime & violence. While we stand ready to assist local leaders in restoring peace & maintaining order, we won’t hesitate to take action without them.”
This recent trend of lawlessness is outrageous & unacceptable. Georgians, including those in uniform, need to be protected from crime & violence. While we stand ready to assist local leaders in restoring peace & maintaining order, we won’t hesitate to take action without them. https://t.co/NTacEm4v7o
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) July 6, 2020
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