Atlanta neighborhood fighting to become its own city because mayor “treats police like villains”, “protects criminals”

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ATLANTA, GA – Bill White, the CEO of the Buckhead City Committee, told SiriusXM’s Breitbart News in late August that his campaign to deannex his upscale suburb from Atlanta’s crime-ridden city is making headway.

White, who recently unveiled the emblem for the prospective Buckhead city on August 27th, told host Matthew Boyle that the idea of cityhood, which has surfaced occasionally as a result of local dissatisfaction over the previous decade, is now more viable than ever:

“When you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, you’ve got to organize.”

“I think sometimes it just takes some people, and we have all these great volunteers, subject matter experts, even people who work for the city of Atlanta who are helping us to set up our city. So we’re not a fly by night, willy-nilly, knee-jerk organization.”

White has been leading Buckhead’s bid for cityhood this year, a community initiative that has evolved into a legitimate endeavor as Atlanta’s violent crime rate continues to climb and state lawmakers and financiers show support for his proposition:

“We’ve set up the charter. We’ve set up the hiring practices. We’ve set up the city ordinances that will clean up Buckhead, just like they did cleaning up New York City, making that, way back, you know, with the great police of New York City, the safest largest city in America.”

White says that from a budget perspective with respect to taxes, Buckhead could easily be self-sufficient and even lower taxes. He also added that their deannexing will put Atlanta in the hotseat where they’ll have to star balancing their own budgets more competently:

“We know we can do it. We know we can even potentially lower our taxes here by continuing to operate Buckhead city as a business like the folks here do every day, and Atlanta’s going to have to do something that they’ve never done in the history of Atlanta — is they’re going to have to operate on a budget, just like you and I do in our homes or our businesses.”

“They’ve been spending like drunken sailors, and you know, that’s an insult to drunken sailors because what we have to do is get control of the purse strings. They’ve been looking at Buckhead as a piggy bank for all these years.”

The high crime rate in Atlanta, as well as what White regards as a “demoralized” police department, are driving forces behind White’s campaign, which he attributes in part to Atlanta Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms:

“We have a mayor who basically treats the police as if they’re villains. So they’re completely demoralized. Arrests are down, and crime is through the roof. On top of which, she has a complete lack of any understanding on how to fight crime.”

Mayor Bottoms, who opposes the deannexation of Buckhead, has previously attributed her city’s increase in violent crime on Republican Governor Brian Kemp’s decision to lift the state’s coronavirus lockdowns sooner than most states in 2020.

The mayor claims that by simply identifying as a city, Buckhead isn’t “building a wall around the city,” and won’t be able to address what she referred to as the “COVID crime wave.”

White, on the other hand, is determined to take matters into his own and his fellow Buckhead residents’ hands regarding the matter:

“We’re fighting back. We’re going to take control back of our city from these crazy policies, and we have a bill in both the House and the Senate of the Georgia legislature, which when it passes, in April, will put cityhood on the ballot for November of 2022. We know Buckhead city is one hundred percent feasible.”

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Back in December, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report that detailed crime rates in Atlanta and how the neighborhood of Buckhead started to fund their own sort of private police/security to combat the elevating crime rates. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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ATLANTA, GA – Back in June of 2020, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms had bragged about being “ahead of the curve,” when it related to “reallocating our public safety.”

Essentially, pointing out that the city has been engaged in a form of police defunding years before the slogan reached national popularity. 

Flash forward to December of 2020, and now a collective formed between locals, business owners and more are trying to curtail crime via establishing a sort of private security force

When emotions were high in the weeks following the death of George Floyd, elected officials across the country were metaphorically racing to say what they believed enablers of the “defund the police” movement wanted to hear. 

In early June of 2020, Mayor Bottoms felt as though the city of Atlanta was essentially already entrenched in efforts that would appease those clamoring to defund the police:

“We are ahead of the curve in Atlanta because we are already reallocating our public safety, we are already moving 60 percent roughly out of our corrections budget into that very specific area. So in some areas people are calling it defunding the police, in Atlanta we’ve been doing this work over the past couple of years.”

Yet, in the wake of rising crime in Atlanta – and the recent tragic murder of 7-year-old Kennedy Maxie – the notion of less police in Atlanta isn’t nearly as appealing to many as it was six months earlier. 

This set into motion what’s known as the “Buckhead Security Plan”, which is a $1.62 million project that will be used to supplement the Atlanta Police Department within the commercial and residential Buckhead neighborhood area.

Measures to be employed by the endeavor include establishing more license plate readers, security cameras around the area, as well as additional forces aimed at dealing with “party houses” and drag racing in the area.

Details on the new plan outline that a private security force will function as “a coordinated security patrol consisting of extra-duty officers from the Atlanta Police Department, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia State Patrol, and private security firms.”

The Atlanta Police Foundation and the Buckhead Coalition are also encouraging residents to make private donations towards the effort, but a $125,000 collective chip-in has been promised by Atlanta City Councilmembers J.P. Matzigkeit, Howard Shook, and Matt Westmoreland. 

Regarding young Maxie’s recent murder, Councilmember Shook commented on how the rising crime in Atlanta has been getting downplayed by Mayor Bottoms:

“I don’t want to hear the word ‘uptick.’ Stop minimizing our concerns by telling us that ‘crime is up everywhere’.”

“Spare us from the lie that the steady outflow of our officers isn’t as bad as it is…And please, not another throw-away press conference utterly devoid of game-changing action steps.”

Councilmember Westmoreland says that the “Buckhead Security Plan” aims to not only make residents feel secure in their neighborhoods, but also restore police officers’ faith in feeling as though they’re supported:

“Far too many of our residents don’t feel safe, and too many of our men and women in uniform don’t feel supported. This plan aims to change that.”

“Every day, we ask our officers to stand in harm’s way. It’s important for them to know they have our support, and we have their backs.”

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Police: 8-year old Atlanta girl gunned down after death of Rayshard Brooks was gang retaliation

(Originally published August 17th, 2021)

ATLANTA, GA – 2020 was a year of extreme violence amidst all of the protesting over the death of George Floyd. Equally as contentious was the shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.

Less than a month after Brooks was shot and killed by police after he assaulted them, stole a taser and fired it at the pursuing officers, “protesters” around the Wendy’s where he died shot into a vehicle, striking 8-year old Secoriea Turner.

The young girl was rushed to an area hospital where she tragically died of her wounds, in what now appears to have been a gang-related retaliation. 

Now, documents pertaining to the investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) revealed two very telling things about the little girl’s death.

The first, the barricades that caused the vehicle Turner was a passenger in to stop and take fire had been set up by local members of the Bloods street gang. 

The second, Rayshard Brooks was a member and associate of that same gang. 

Police were aware of the illegal barricades being set up to create an “autonomous” zone. They were unable to handle that situation quickly due to emergent 911 calls that took priority. 

According to arrest warrants issued by the GBI, members of the Bloods took control of the area by “brandishing, pointing and discharging of firearms at citizens and civilians to ensure compliance with their authority in a highly visible manner.”

“Prior investigation determined that Brooks was a member/associate of the Bloods criminal street gang,” the warrant also iterated.

The reports detailed that two men were manning a barricade when the Jeep turner was riding in pulled up. As they tried to go around, one of them opened fire on the vehicle, striking it several times. 

That man, 19-year-old Julian Conley, was arrested 2 weeks after the shooting. The second man, who was identified as 23-year old Jerrion McKinney, was just arrested. 

Police arrested McKinney more than 13 months after the shooting. 

“They took the time and did the work,” District Attorney Fani Willis said. “Sometimes you know you need expertise. We were seeing things in the files that indicated to us that there was probably gang elements here and we thought it needed a deeper dive. [The GBI] has the gang task force and it just made sense to ask.”

Willis also alluded to the retaliation factor by the gang. 

“There was outrage at that loss of life,” she said.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the GBI was invited to join the investigation roughly two months ago. 

There have been thirty-seven indictments handed down between the two men.

McKinney was charged with murder, four counts of aggravated assault, pointing a gun or pistol at another, and 12 gang-related offenses, totaling 19 of the 37 handed down.

Conley received two counts of felony murder as well as malice murder. His other charges were gang related.  

To further exacerbate the situation, the AJC also reported: 

“Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last year that she wanted to clear the area but agreed to let City Council member Joyce Sheperd negotiate with the protesters in hopes of reaching a peaceful compromise. Those talks eventually broke down and on June 23, the barricade was removed by Atlanta police officers. Sheperd has declined to comment.

Bottoms has said she was not aware of any gang presence in the area.”

The Turner family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Atlanta, Mayor Bottoms, Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant, Councilmember Sheperd, and Wendy’s International. The lawsuit alleges that the city failed to remove the barriers and clear the area where Turner was murdered. 

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