Atlanta Mayor Wants "Occupied Zone" Cleared, But How?

Yesterday, I wrote about the murder of eight-year-old Secoriea Turner. Young Miss Turner was shot by a group of protestors near the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed. Her crime? Damned if I know. She was a little girl who couldn’t have done anything.

Regardless, when the car she was riding in turned to enter a parking lot, they were faced with armed protestors who objected to what the driver was trying to do.

And a little girl died.

The Mayor of Atlanta wants the city’s own version of the CHOP cleared.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has ordered a Black Lives Matter “occupied zone” around a downtown Wendy’s — the site where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed in an encounter with cops last month — dismantled and cleared after an 8-year-old girl was allegedly murdered by protesters Sunday.

The young girl, Secoriea Turner, was killed when her mother exited the freeway and turned into a parking lot playing host to the “occupied” protest similar to the one that cropped up in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood early in June. Protesters reportedly swarmed the woman’s vehicle and fired a number of shots at the family, hitting Secoriea.

In a press conference Sunday night, Bottoms ordered the “occupied” zone cleared and declared that protesters would no longer be able to set up a long-term camp at the site of Brooks’ death.

“After a night of a dozen shootings, including one in which an 8-year-old girl was killed, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Sunday said protesters could no longer occupy the Wendy’s where a police officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks last month,” Fox News reported Monday.

This, of course, raises an issue, one of the mayor’s own making.

You see, the only way to clear the area of protestors who don’t want to leave is to either use the police or the National Guard. The Guard is something of a non-starter for what should be fairly obvious reasons. The idea of soldiers clearing an area on American soil will not play well on television. Not in the least.

That leaves the police.

Yet, how are the police actually going to clear it? This is a department still struggling with morale problems after the Brooks incident. An officer was fired and another reassigned before an investigation into their actions could even begin. That happened at Mayor Bottoms’s direction. It seems unlikely that the Atlanta Police Department would be interested in rolling into an area where the potential exists for more violence knowing that if someone dies, they’ll be the ones hung out to dry.

That didn’t stop many from asking just why the police hadn’t already moved in.

The AJC Monday tried to ask Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and interim Police Chief Rodney Bryant why the city did not remove the armed protesters, but the mayor, who announced she tested positive for COVID-19, did not comment.

A spokesperson for the chief didn’t respond to questions from the AJC about if police were aware that the group had threatened people with guns, and if so, why they took no action. The protesters who camped out at the Wendy’s denied responsibility in Secoriea’s killing.

The police chief also declined to answer questions about whether Bottoms made the decision to allow protesters to remain at the site, if the department was aware of people being threatened by armed protesters, and why they didn’t stop armed demonstrators from using guns to block the road.

Members of Atlanta’s City Council could not provide answers to why the city failed to reign in the armed protesters.

City Council President Felicia Moore said she visited the Wendy’s more than half a dozen times since Rayshard Brooks was shot. She described a noticeable lack of police presence, especially after a woman was shot there on June 20. Moore said demonstrators believe a white man fired a gun into the crowd and that the police were slow to respond.

Of course, we already have an idea about why they haven’t stepped in. No one wants to be fired and/or prosecuted for trying to do their jobs. It’s just a bad state all-around.

Look, bad cops need to be punished, sure. No one argues otherwise. But there’s a process that needs to be followed to determine if someone is a good cop or a bad one after an incident like the death of Rayshard Brooks. That wasn’t followed and so no one should be surprised that officers aren’t willing to put it on the line anymore in Atlanta.

If you want to change that, you’ve got to give officers the feeling that you’ll have their back if they’re in the right and you’ll get a fair shake in determining if they’re wrong or not. They don’t have that now.

That’s on Bottoms and the city of Atlanta.