Kemp made the decision in response to several fatal shootings over the 4th of July weekend.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency, deploying 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops to Atlanta after a weekend of multiple shootings. Kemp says these troops will patrol state buildings, “[allowing] state law enforcement personnel to increase patrols on roadways and throughout communities.”
Kemp made this decision after 31 people in Georgia were shot over the Fourth of July weekend, resulting in dozens of injuries and five deaths. One of these deaths was Secoriea Turner, an 8-year-old-girl, who was shot on Saturday night near the Wendy’s where police killed Rayshard Brooks last month. Turner, her mother, and her mother’s friend were all present in the car when a shooter fired towards the vehicle.
Demonstrators have reportedly taken over the same Wendy’s, leading to ongoing protests. “Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda,” Kemp declared Monday. “Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead.”
“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,” the Republican governor added, appearing to take shots at Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta’s Democratic mayor.
“Enough is enough,” Bottoms declared, arguing that the violence is coming from outsiders, rather than members of the Atlanta community. “This random wild wild West shoot-'em-up because you can has gotta stop,” she said. “It has to stop.”