Mayors across the country blame pandemic for recent surge in violence

A member of the Georgia National Guard sits on a vehicle outside the State Capitol on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in Atlanta. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp mobilized the guard after an increase in gun violence over the weekend. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 2:40 PM PT — Wednesday, July 8, 2020

City leaders across the nation have blamed the ongoing pandemic for the surge in violence over the Fourth of July weekend.

On Tuesday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms said there is a “perfect storm of distress in America.” She cited Americans’ growing frustration amid the pandemic and police brutality demonstrations nationwide.

“I think that that people are obviously anxious, even angry, about COVID-19. Loved ones are dying, people are losing their jobs. I think there’s a lot of frustration, a lot of angst.” – Keisha Bottoms, Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia

In a recent Twitter post, she announced she had tested positive for coronavirus while attempting to lead her city out of the unrest.

“I have a low positive test, so it either means I’m on the way up or the way down,” explained Bottoms. “They don’t know which one, but they’ve told me to treat it as if I’m positive, just in terms of quarantining and all of the things that we that are recommended that people do.”

FILE – In this July 17, 2019, file photo, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks during a Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis on Capitol Hill in Washington. Bottoms announced Monday, July 6, 2020, that she had tested positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

This came after a weekend of violence in Atlanta, which left 8-year-old Secoriea Turner and four others dead. The incidents prompted Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to declare a state of emergency and authorize the activation of National Guard.

Similarly, Mayor Lori Lightfoot mourned for her community after 18 people died in the Chicago, including two children and a teenager. She echoed Bottoms’ remarks, citing coronavirus as a stresser that contributed to the increase in violent crimes.

“All of these forces are coming together at the same time and making it very difficult,” stated Lightfoot. “The ecosystem of public safety – that isn’t just law enforcement, but is local, community-based – they too have really been hit hard by COVID-19 and are now just kind of coming back online, getting their footing.”

FILE – In this Jan. 23, 2020, file photo, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot​, speaks at the ​U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Winter Meeting in Washington.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has been facing the consequences of releasing prison inmates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the NYPD, 275 of the nearly 2,500 inmates released early due to coronavirus concerns have been rearrested. In total, this amounted to 550 criminal charges.

Last Sunday in NYC alone, there were 30 shootings resulting in nine deaths.

“We saw too much violence this weekend, and this is something we have a lot of work to do to address,” said de Blasio. “It is directly related to all the dislocation that’s happened over these last four months with the coronavirus.”

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Shanon Peckham
Author: Shanon Peckham

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