Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order declaring a State of Emergency and authorizing the call up of up to 1,000 National Guard troops in Georgia, after a week of violence in Atlanta. In addition to large protests where some buildings were vandalized, there were also numerous shootings. There is no indication that the shootings are related to the protests in any way, but officials in the state have been talking about these two separate situations interchangeably.
This week, troops from the National Guard will be deployed to protect state government buildings, including the state capitol, the Georgia Department of Public Safety headquarters, the governor’s mansion, and the Georgia World Congress Center.
Kemp Declares State of Emergency, Activates 1,000 Troops to Protect Georgians https://t.co/GF4p9l7NcW
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) July 6, 2020
During a statement on Monday, Kemp said that “Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda.”
“Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead. 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 said.
Over the weekend, thirty-one people were shot in 11 incidents between Friday and Sunday. Five people, including an 8-year-old girl, died.
In one of the shootings, an 8-year-old girl was killed by a group of people that fired into traffic. The shooting was located near the Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was killed last month, but no suspects have been identified, and their motives are unclear. Less than 24 hours later, a 53-year-old man was also killed in the same area, that murder is also currently unsolved.
Local activists have said that they have nothing to do with the violence that took place over the weekend and have condemned the shootings.