Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom declared ‘enough is enough’ after an eight-year-old girl was shot dead on the Fourth of July when at least two gunmen opened fire on her mom’s car, as dozens of other scenes of violence and chaos erupted around the country.
Secoriea Turner was killed after her mother Charmine Turner drove through an illegal barricade that had been set up by activists around the restaurant where Brooks was shot dead by police officers while being arrested on June 12.
Meanwhile in New York, where cops say Mayor Bill de Blasio has ‘surrendered’ to lawlessness, gun violence spiked by 140 percent.
President Trump threatened to intervene on Twitter, saying both Chicago and New York’s crime numbers had gone ‘way up’.
Bottoms, who has been touted as a potential running mate for Joe Biden in November’s presidential election, angrily told protesters and criminals to stop the bloodshed.
‘We have talked about this movement that is happening across America at this moment in time when we have the ears and the interest of people across this country and across this globe who are saying they want to see change. We’re fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up in our streets. You shot and killed a baby. And it wasn’t one shooter, there was at least two shooters.’
Bottoms also noted that the latest shooting, as well as others that occurred in a 24-hour span, were not the work of local police officers – whose brutality against black men is what started the movement.
‘The reality is this, these aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta,’ she said.
‘These are members of the community shooting each other – and in this case, it is the worst possible outcome.’
Charmine was overcome by grief as she made an emotional plea during a press conference with Mayor Bottoms on Sunday.
‘We understand the frustration of Rayshard Brooks, we understand,’ Charmine said.
‘We ain’t got nothing to do with that, we innocent. We didn’t mean no harm. My baby didn’t mean no harm.’
The shooting happened at around 9:50pm Saturday at the All American Package Store, close to the Wendy´s restaurant where Brooks was killed by an Atlanta police officer on June 12.
The Wendy’s – which was burned down in protests after Brooks’ killing – has since become a site for demonstrations against police brutality.
It was turned into a sort of autonomous zone, similar to Seattle’s CHOP, and has been the target of scrutiny for city officials as illegal barricades were erected to keep others out.
Authorities said the mother had attempted to drive through illegally placed barricades in the area when the vehicle came under fire Saturday night.
In a statement Sunday, police said the girl was in a car with her mother and a friend of the mother when they got off Interstate-75/85 onto University Avenue and were trying to enter a parking lot nearby.
They ran into a group of armed individuals who had blocked the entrance.
‘At some point, someone in that group opened fire on the vehicle, striking it multiple times and striking the child who was inside,’ the statement read.
Secoriea’s mother drove the girl to Atlanta Medical Center but she did not survive.
Authorities are offering a a $10,000 reward to for any information leading to an arrest and indictment of suspects.
Police said they are seeking help from the public to identify those involved and released a wanted poster saying a person all dressed in black and another in a white T-shirt were being sought.
‘An 8-year-old girl was killed last night because her mother was riding down the street,’ Bottoms said. ‘If Secoriea was not safe last night, none of us are safe.’
‘Somebody knows something,’ said Charmine during the press conference, while the child’s father, Secoriya Williamson, comforted her.
Williamson then took the mic and, while his voice broke from the pain, called out the shooters for apparent hypocrisy.
‘They say Black lives matter. You killed your own. You killed your own this time,’ said Williamson.
‘Just because of a barrier. They killed my baby because she crossed a barrier and made a U-turn. You killed a child. She didn’t do nothing to nobody.’
Soon after, Charmine was overcome with grief and had to be escorted out of the press conference by family members.
‘This is a child’s life gone too soon, we are pleading, anybody, if you know anybody that knows somebody that knows this person or persons, please, we beg you, we beg you, please, please let’s do this. Bring this in for justice,’ said the child’s aunt, April Turner.
‘Whoever did this, we’re asking the public, we are pleading. Call Crime Stoppers, call Atlanta Homicide, if you’re in a different county, DeKalb County, call DeKalb County homicide.
Bottoms announced that the death of Secoriea was the final straw as authorities now plan to shut down and clear out the autonomous zone near the Wendy’s.
Bottoms said there have been problems with protesters in the area putting up barriers to close off the street.
She said she received a message that the barriers were back up less than an hour before she was informed that the 8-year-old girl had died.
Bottoms said: ‘At the request of Councilmember Sheperd, our public safety chair and our city council president, we had not completely closed the Wendy’s location yet … giving them an opportunity to have discussions with the people who were still at the Wendy’s.
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Source: Daily Mail