Atlanta Mayor Bottoms's Reaction to Gov. Kemp Calling in National Guard Shows Exactly Why It Was Necessary

AP Photo/Andrea Smith

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After the brutal ambush-style July 4th murder of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner by “protesters” near the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed during a June 12th altercation with Atlanta police officers, Georgia politicians from both sides of the aisle including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) and Gov. Brian Kemp (R) expressed outrage and vowed action.

Two days later, though, while Bottoms was still talking the tough talk, Kemp followed through with action, declaring a state of emergency and calling in the Georgia National Guard to protect state buildings in Atlanta. Kemp was not only responding to Turner’s murder, but also to an an attack on the Georgia State Patrol HQ as well as 30 other shootings that took place over the holiday weekend in which four other people were killed.

Kemp said in a statement that his emergency declaration “will allow state law enforcement personnel to increase patrols on roadways and throughout communities, especially those in the City of Atlanta” – and, presumably, including the parts of Atlanta that have been under the control of violent, gun-toting left-wing agitators in response to Brooks’s shooting death by Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe.

Mayor Bottoms, as you might expect, did not take Kemp’s announcement well. Here’s what she said when asked about it on “Good Morning America”:

“No. An irony of that is that I asked Governor Kemp to allow us to mandate masks in Atlanta and he said no. But he has called in the National Guard without asking if we needed the National Guard.

“So, I understand if he wants to protect state buildings. We have been coordinating with the Georgia State Patrol — which we do on any number of occasions. Law enforcement agencies coordinate, and we provide assistance to them, they provide assistance to us.

“But at no time was it mentioned that anyone felt that there was the need for the National Guard to come in.”

This sounds like nothing more than petty sour grapes by someone who wants to pretend she had a good handle on the situation in her city while innocent people were being harassed, assaulted and murdered in the area in the weeks following Brooks’s death. Keep in mind, too, that much of what Bottoms has been saying over the course of the last few months has been in an effort to make herself look capable and ready to lead since she’s rumored to be a top contender in the Joe Biden veepstakes.

Let’s be clear about this: In spite of her claims that she was in negotiations with the “protesters” and consulting with the Ga. state patrol, Bottoms had lost control of the city and apparently believed the best solution was to hope it went away while she went on television periodically to declare “enough is enough.” Not only that, but the people committing the violence had no respect for anyone they came in contact with, including the Atlanta police who, as Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw speculated, were probably told early on by Bottoms to stand down and let her work it out.

Also, the Atlanta PD and Bottoms don’t have the best of professional working relationships, either, for reasons that should be obvious to everybody.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) got to the heart of the matter in comments he made Tuesday on Fox News about the situation:

Collins went on to say that “[calling in the National Guard] is the thing that has to happen because it shouldn’t take a tragic death for somebody to all of a sudden say, ‘Wow we need to enforce the law.’”

Collins noted that “anywhere where you allow lawlessness to exist,” when “the police are told to disengage” and when “the mayor’s office seemingly was just letting it [violence] happen,” lawlessness won’t “be contained,” which he said is “going to cause more and more problems.”

The fact of the matter is that Secoriea Turner’s murder and other shootings that have taken place in the area after Brooks’s killing were preventable, just as the violence and deaths in Seattle’s CHOP zone were preventable. All that was needed was for someone, anyone to step up and show leadership early on.

Unfortunately, Bottoms did not, which left Kemp with no other alternative but to act. Perhaps now law and order can be restored to a significant enough degree in the city that residents can feel safe again.