Democratic Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms drew a straight line Sunday from the White House to the Ahmaud Arbery shooting in her state.
Bottoms appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” to discuss Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s plan to reopen her state, and anchor Jake Tapper mentioned the recent charges that were filed in Arbery’s case. (RELATED: Jake Tapper Reminds Justin Amash That Even Teddy Roosevelt Couldn’t Pull Off A Third-Party Win)
“The shooting happened back on February 23,” Tapper began, noting that murder charges against the shooters were not filed until a video of the shooting went viral. “Do you think that the two men were only charged because the video became public?”
“I think that’s absolutely the reason that they were charged. I think had we not seen that video, I don’t believe that they would be charged,” Bottoms responded. “And it’s heartbreaking that it’s 2020 and this was a lynching of an African-American man. And I think that, you know, my heart goes out to his family.”
Bottoms then pivoted to President Donald Trump, suggesting that racists were being empowered by the president.
“I think, again, it’s a part of this bigger issue that we are having in this country. With the rhetoric we hear coming out of the White House in so many ways, I think that many who are prone to being racist are given permission to do it in an overt way that we otherwise would not see in 2020, because you have to remember, Jake, you know, in cities across this country, even if local leadership fails, there was always the backstop of our Justice Department to step in and make sure people are appropriately prosecuted. But we don’t have that leadership at the top right now. It’s disheartening.”
Bottoms went on to say that her own four children were afraid because of that overt racism. “They are angry. And they are afraid. I think it speaks to the need to have leadership at the top that cares for all of our communities and not just in words but in deeds as well,” she concluded.