“I think it’s just this perfect storm of distress in America,” Bottoms said on “Good Morning America.”
“I think that that people are obviously anxious, and even angry about Covid-19. Loved ones are dying. People are losing their jobs. I think there’s a lot of frustration, a lot of angst.”
“It doesn’t give people much hope and I think that it’s all converging together and we’re seeing it happen and spill out onto the streets in Atlanta and we’re seeing it across the country and then you add, on top of that, the cases that we’ve all witnessed of police brutality and it has all come together in a violent way,” she said.
“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead,” Kemp said in a statement. “This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city.”
The troops will soon be deployed as needed to protect state buildings, including the State Capitol, the Georgia Department of Public Safety headquarters, the governor’s mansion and the Georgia World Congress Center, CNN affiliate WSB reports.
Atlanta was the website of protests opposed to police violence against Black people, particularly following the Atlanta Police killing of Rayshard Brooks outside a Wendy’s drive-through.
There’s a rise in shootings but a drop in other crime
Atlanta Police publishes data on its site weekly of eight serious crimes: murders, rapes, robberies, burglaries, aggravated assaults, larcenies from automobiles, other larcenies and automobile thefts.
In addition, the 282 shooting incidents to date in 2020 in Atlanta is a 19% increase from that point a year ago, the data shows.
But at exactly the same time, reported robberies, burglaries, larcenies from automobiles, other larcenies, and automobile thefts have declined by at least 14% compared to this same point in 2019 as well as this aspect in 2018. Aggravated assaults are unchanged from last year’s total as of June 27, while reported rapes are down 59%.
In all, the full total number of serious criminal incidents to date this year is far lower than in previous years.
As of June 27 in Atlanta, there have been about 9,500 incidents of those eight most serious offenses — an 18% decrease from the exact same point in 2019 and a 22% decrease from the same point in 2018.
Why are large cities seeing similar trends?
“Homicides depend on relatively vibrant activity patterns — lots of people on the street,” Richard Rosenfeld, a University of Missouri-St. Louis professor and co-author of the report, told the philanthropy’s newsletter. “When the streets are empty, the opportunities for all kinds of street crime go down.”
Thomas Abt, a senior fellow at the Council on Criminal Justice and the report’s other author, told CNN last week that there seemed to be connection between violence and the “legitimacy” of their state and police force.
“As legitimacy drops, the people in these communities simply don’t use the criminal justice system to mediate conflicts and instead turn to violence,” he told the newsletter.
“We saw a significant increase in homicides after the unrest in Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago and other places. We may be in for the same thing in the wake of the George Floyd protests.”
CNN’s Chris Boyette, Ray Sanchez, Brynn Gingras, Kate Conerly and Laura Dolan contributed to this report.