Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says her metropolis is besieged by crime as a result of Republicans within the statehouse jumped the gun on ending Georgia’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Bottoms, a Democrat, informed MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle that lax gun legal guidelines and younger folks with an excessive amount of free time have added to a 50 p.c improve in murders from earlier than the pandemic — however she stated Gov. Brian Kemp’s controversial April 20, 2020, transfer to ease lockdown restrictions was additionally a principal wrongdoer.
“Keep in mind in Georgia we had been opened up earlier than the remainder of the nation, even earlier than the CDC stated that it was secure for us to open so our night time golf equipment and our bars remained open so we had folks touring right here from throughout the nation to occasion in our metropolis,” Bottoms stated throughout the Friday interview.
The mayor additionally stated the pandemic “left lots of people battered and bruised, not simply bodily but in addition emotionally,” which has led to a rise and private disputes that had been aggravated by easy accessibility to weapons.
“Till we take care of the systemic problems with gun violence on this nation, how simply younger folks, folks with psychological sicknesses can entry weapons on this nation, I’m afraid that this is not going to be the final summer season that we’re having this dialog,” Bottoms informed the cable community.
The mayor famous that the rise in violent crime was not distinctive to Atlanta.
“If it had been an Atlanta concern alone then I’d know that there was one thing that we weren’t getting proper… however I’m speaking to mayors and listening to from mayors in cities and huge city areas, we’re all experiencing this which implies that all of us need to work collectively to discover a answer to this gun violence that’s gripping our nation,” Bottoms informed Ruhle.
Latest numbers present shootings in New York Metropolis are up by about 68 p.c in 2021 in comparison with final yr.
Bottoms stated her metropolis is working with the FBI to clamp down on criminals whereas beginning a brand new summer season employment program for teenagers, based on the report.
The mayor’s feedback come as some group leaders in Atlanta’s ritzy Buckhead neighborhood are transferring to secede from the town over improve crime.