Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency and authorized the deployment of up to 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops amid a surge of violence in the state.
The governor issued the executive order Monday following “weeks of dramatically increased violent crime and property destruction in the City of Atlanta,” CNN reported.
The troops will be tasked with protecting state buildings and freeing up police resources to allow state law enforcement to increase patrols after a violent Independence Day weekend, when more than 30 Georgians were shot.
One of the people shot and killed was an 8-year-old girl, Secoriea Turner. Turner was killed near the Wendy’s that Rayshard Brooks was killed at in Atlanta, and which has since become the site of protests.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) July 5, 2020
“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda,” the governor stated Monday according to Business Insider. “Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead.”
“This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city,” he said. “Enough with the tough talk.”
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms declared during a press conference that “it’s over” and demanded the area occupied by protesters to be shut down after Turner’s death.
“This discussion, this mediation, and … it’s over. At a point where an 8-year-old baby is killed, the discussions have ended,” Bottoms said. (RELATED: ‘They Say Black Lives Matter. You Killed Your Own’: Father Of 8-Year-Old Shot And Killed Speaks Out Against Violent Protesters)
The National Guard was previously activated in Georgia during the rioting and looting that took place following the death of George Floyd.