NationalStacy M. Brown

Atlanta Mayor: ‘We Are Doing Each Other More Harm Than Any Police Officer on This Force’

Keisha Lance Bottoms, Others 'Disgusted' Over Uptick in Black-on-Black Crime

A range of disturbing incidents has happened since George Floyd’s death and subsequent protests against racism and police brutality.

USA Today, the Associated Press, Fox News and other outlets have reported on situations around the country that depict most of the victims of violent crime in the past 90 days as Black.

In  Illinois, a man was charged with a hate crime allegedly for riding his motorcycle into a protest and hitting two people.

According to USA Today, authorities said a KKK leader tried to run his car through a group of peaceful protesters in Virginia. Video shows a white man accelerating his vehicle toward a Black woman in a Wisconsin parking lot.

However, it’s not all hate crimes – or white supremacist types attacking Black people.

In Chicago, many have described the murder rate of African Americans as “through the roof.”

In the District, residents are still disgusted by the senseless murder of 11-year-old Davon McNeal of Southeast, who was on his way to a cookout and stopped by his aunt’s house to pick up a phone charger.

After exiting a car, Davon was struck in the head by a stray bullet and later pronounced dead.

“A group of five men was shooting up in the area,” District Police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters.

Newly diagnosed with COVID-19, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms exclaimed that “enough is enough,” when speaking about the violence in the Black community.

The stricken mayor expressed outrage after an 8-year-old Black girl was killed and more than 20 other people injured over a violent Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The Atlanta Police Department responded by offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of those responsible in the killing of Secoriea Turner.

Secoriea reportedly was shot near Wendy’s restaurant, where Rayshard Brooks was killed last month after a confrontation with police.

During a news conference, Bottoms acknowledged the simmering tensions between Atlantans, who have protested for weeks against police brutality.

She said the recent spate of shootings in the city is a result of “members of the community shooting each other.”

“You can’t blame this on a police officer; you can’t say this is about criminal justice reform. This is about some people carrying weapons who shot up a car with an 8-year-old baby,” Bottoms protested. “We are doing each other more harm than any police officer on this force.”

ABC News Chicago reported that, after a violent string of weekends marred by gun violence, which has claimed the lives of several children, responding officers had been offered days off as they also dealt with the toll the violence is taking.

“Yeah, you’d have to be inhuman not to have some effect on you when you see anyone killed is a tragedy, but when there are children killed,” Chicago Police Chief of Operations Fred Waller told the news station.

“It’s an additional emotion that comes over many of the officers who have kids myself have kids, so it’s just an additional emotion, and we’ve provided EAP, and any outlet and outreach for the officers to have some type of way to express those feelings.”
According to ABC Chicago, the city is dealing with yet another violent night where 19 people were shot and four killed.

Still, many activists maintained that the media’s focus should stray from theorizing Black-on-Black crimes, and indeed reframe from calling it more of a crisis than racial attacks on African Americans.

“One of their often-used talking points is Black-on-Black crime. If we were playing a game of spades, this would be their big joker, the ultimate winning play,” WUSA’s Reese Waters wrote in an op-ed.

“But, it’s just misdirection. A verbal sleight of hand used to distract from the issues, or to derail the conversation,” Reese declared.

He continued:

“You’ve all heard it, some of you have said it. It usually goes something like this: “Police? Why aren’t we talking about Black-on-Black crime, that’s the real problem.”

“Want to know why no one talks about it? Because you’re not actually interested. The reality is Black activists address crime within itself all the time. Others only seem to want to address it when we talk about crimes being committed against us by uniformed officers.”

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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