Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Monday that violence within the Black community deserves the “same sense of urgency” as the police brutality highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ms. Bottoms, who revealed Monday night that she tested positive for COVID-19, appeared on “CNN Newsroom” earlier in the day after an 8-year-old girl was fatally shot on the Fourth of July near the now-burned out Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was killed by police last month.
Ms. Bottoms said police are still working to find Secoriea Turner’s killers, who were reportedly protesting in the area after illegally erecting barricades in the street.
The mayor mused over the “irony” of the makeshift memorial at the Wendy’s devolving into violence.
“There is injustice and there is police brutality in America, period,” Ms. Bottoms said. “But there’s also this violence that’s erupting on our streets, often between people within the same community, that is also a problem.
“I think that we have to deal with both of these issues, and we can’t deal with them if we want to put our heads in the sand and act as if they don’t exist,” she said. “And so I think that this enemy that we have to confront is violence. And whether it’s violence from interactions with police officers, whether it’s violence within our communities, the impact is still the same on our communities. It’s destroying our communities.
“And I think that they are equally important conversations,” she continued. “I think that we can have the same conversation. I think we can — we have the ability to have this conversation simultaneously. But when you have a child, an 8-year-old child who is killed just feet away from the site where we are protesting the killing of an unarmed Black man, then we have got to acknowledge that we have got some layers of issues in our communities, and we have got to confront them both with the same anger and with the same sense of urgency.”
Ms. Bottoms made similar comments during a press conference Sunday alongside Secoriea Turner’s parents, who chastised the Black Lives Matter movement for killing one of their “own.”
“Enough is enough,” the mayor said Sunday. “In the Civil Rights movement, there was a defined common enemy. We’re fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up on our streets. You shot and killed a baby. … If you want people to take us seriously, and you don’t want us to lose this movement, then we can’t lose each other.”
The killing of an 8-year-old child, feet from the site of protests of the killing of an unarmed black man, “reveals layers of issues in our communities” that must be confronted with the same anger and “sense of urgency,” says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. pic.twitter.com/oa06Zg91Rh
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) July 6, 2020
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