Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced on Monday that he will deploy up to 1,000 National Guard troops to protect state property in Atlanta after a violent weekend, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Atlanta, like many other big cities, saw an eruption of violence on July 4 weekend. An 8-year-old girl was killed as were three others and the Georgia State Patrol headquarters was ransacked.
Kemp issued an emergency order to deploy National Guard troops after warning Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to “take action.”
“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead,” said Kemp. “This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city.”
Bottoms criticizes move:
Bottoms said she disagreed with Kemp’s decision and at “no time” requested National Guard troops.
"The irony of that is I asked Governor Kemp to allow us to mandate masks in Atlanta and he said no,” Bottoms said. “But he has called in the National Guard without asking if we need the National Guard.”
Bottoms has repeatedly pleaded for an end to the violence.
“This random wild, Wild West shoot-‘em-up because you can, has gotta stop. It has to stop,” she said after the weekend violence.
Democrats say Kemp abusing power:
“For months, we have begged the governor to take serious steps to stop COVID-19 from decimating our communities, but he refuses,” state Sen. Nikema Williams, who chairs the state Democratic Party, told AJC. “His choice to deploy National Guard troops for today's selfish purpose is outrageous and will endanger lives.”