Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) is facing increasing pressure to resign over her handling of recent events around the city, including the death of a young girl who was shot and killed near a Wendy’s where a police officer fatally shot Rayshard Brooks after he resisted arrest.
The girl, 8-year-old Secoriea Turner, was killed as violent criminals opened fire on a car that her mother was driving as she was trying to pull a U-turn to get away from the rioters.
“They didn’t give us time to make a U-turn,” Turner’s mother said. “They started shooting at my car before we could even make a U-turn. Shooting my tires out, like why?”
A social justice activist blamed Bottoms for Turner’s death, saying, “Keisha we begged ya’ll for help. You said you’re schedule was so busy that you didn’t have time to meet with activists … You only got time when it’s good for you … If you would have been doing your job, if APD would have been doing their job then no one would have been killed … How is Secoriea’s blood not on your hands?”
Attorney Gerald Griggs, vice president of the Atlanta NAACP, agreed that Bottoms was responsible for Turner’s death on July 4.
“For Keisha to call you guys out and say blood is on your hands … it’s not true,” Griggs said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The blood is on her hands.”
“Get off CNN. Get off MSNBC. Get off Fox. Get off ABC!” Griggs continued. “The community is down here. We want an end to police brutality on your watch, Keisha. If you can’t do it, you need to pack up your office.”
Bottoms initially tried to hold the community responsible for what happened, saying, “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 eight-year-old baby in the car,” Bottoms said. “We got to stop this. We are doing each other more harm than any police officer on this force. We’ve had over 75 shootings in the city over the past several weeks. You can’t blame that on APD.”
The next day Bottoms appeared on CNN, where she suggested that President Donald Trump was responsible for what happened in her city.
CNN host Brooke Baldwin asked Bottoms how such a tragic incident could occur: “I want to just get right to Secoriea, 8 years of age. You said it over the weekend. She was a baby. How could this happen?”
“I was listening to [Chicago] Mayor [Lori] Lightfoot, she summed it up,” Bottoms said. “We talk about systemic racism and the trauma and anxiety and all these things that are happening in our communities. And it is this convergence.”
“And I hate to use the word a perfect storm, but it’s where we are in this country right now,” Bottoms continued. “And you think about the leadership or the lack thereof that we have coming from the highest office in the land. I think that you are seeing so many emotions play out. And so, too often, it’s playing out in violence in our streets.”
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