Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday declared a state of emergency and activated as many as 1,000 National Guard members.
Kemp, a Republican, said the executive order follows “weeks of dramatically increased violent crime and property destruction in the City of Atlanta.”
The governor’s statement says more than 30 Georgians were wounded by gunfire over the extended holiday weekend, including five people who died.
One of the five deaths was that of an 8-year-old girl who was shot while riding in a car with her mother and another person. Secoriea Turner was killed Saturday night as the car tried to enter a parking lot that had illegal barricades, police said.
The shooting was near the scene where a now-fired Atlanta police officer fatally shot Rayshard Brooks after he fought with officers and tried to run away with a stolen Taser.
“We’ve had over 75 shootings in the city over the past several weeks,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said when talking about the 8-year-old’s death on Sunday. “You can’t blame that on APD (Atlanta Police Department).”
After the death of George Floyd in late May there were protests in downtown Atlanta, several of which were followed by looting and vandalism.
“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 governor’s statement says the National Guard will “provide support” at state buildings like the Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion so state police can increase patrols.
According to CNN affiliate WSB, authorities said 60 to 100 people went to Georgia State Patrol headquarters early Sunday morning and some used bricks or fireworks to damage the building.
Guard troops will also be stationed there, the governor said.
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