Atlanta’s Democratic mayor is seeing her star dim as she struggles to get a hold of a growing public safety crisis.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is having to defend her leadership as murders in the city reach decade highs, with three people killed in just a single day over Christmas weekend, according to Fox News.
Dem mayor oversees record murders
What should have been a time for joy turned into a nightmare as Georgia’s capital city surpassed 155 murders over Christmas weekend — the most there since 1998, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC).
The death of a 7-year-old girl the evening after Christmas put the trend in grim perspective: according to a report from the Associated Press, Kennedy Maxie was out Christmas shopping with her mom and aunt days before when she was hit with a stray bullet by men involved in an altercation outside a Saks store. No one has been charged in the killing.
Maxie died within a day of three others killings across the city, the AJC reported. Two men were found dead Friday morning, one from stab wounds and another from a gunshot, and a 16-year-old girl was shot dead at a hotel early Saturday.
Ahead of the killings, City Councilman Howard Shook excoriated the city’s mayor for failing to provide even a semblance of safety for Atlanta residents.
“It is obvious that the civilian authorities do not control the streets and cannot provide even a token feeling of safety beyond our front doors,” Shook said last Tuesday, according to Fox. “To the administration, I don’t want to hear the word ‘uptick.'”
“Spare us from the lie”
As Shook observed, Atlanta has lost a number of police officers this year — about 220, reports said.
“Stop minimizing our concerns by telling us that ‘crime is up everywhere.’ Spare us from the lie that the steady outflow of our officers isn’t as bad as it is. And please, not another throw-away press conference utterly devoid of game-changing action steps,” Shook said of Bottoms, according to the AJC. “It will take a lot to turn this around. But here, in descending order, are the three things we need to begin: 1) Leadership; 2) Some leadership; 3) Any leadership.”
Bottoms was considered a contender to be Joe Biden’s running mate at one time, owing to an enlarged public profile brought about by her response to protests that came in the wake of the death of George Floyd. But she has since struggled to answer for a horrific trend in violent crime.
In a statement to the AJC, the mayor said that noting an increase in violence is “not an abdication of responsibility, but an acknowledgment of the widespread severity of this issue.”
“If there are solutions that we have not explored and enacted, I welcome the suggestions, as I am always open to making the city that I am raising my children in a safer place for us all,” she insisted.