Over the last six weeks, crimes involving gunfire have increased drastically in the US. Police pulled back or were ordered to stand down during widespread rioting, looting and destruction. Dozens were killed during the initial protests and as Town Hall details, 600 people have been killed in the past six weeks in just six cities as the number of shootings have skyrocketed in places like New York, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and, as always, Chicago.
Criminals and other opportunists have been emboldened as calls to defund the police have spread and the Minneapolis Effect has discouraged police from vigorously enforcing the law. People across the country have seen these results and have chosen to arm themselves in record numbers, concerned that dialing 911 won’t bring help any time soon (if at all).
Yet there won’t be any protests for 7-year-old Natalia Wallace who was shot and killed by three men who opened fire on the home where a July 4th party was being held in Chicago. Chicago’s mayor — who needs no help from anyone in dealing with the city’s notorious violence problem — blamed a gun.
Tonight, a 7-year-old girl in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 5, 2020
No mention was made of the person who fired that gun.
There won’t be any protests for 8-year-old Secoriea Turner, who upset “demonstrators” near a burned-out Atlanta Wendy’s restaurant by being in a car that tried to park nearby. A crowd surrounded the car and two people opened fire, killing the girl. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has now declared that enough is enough. “We’re fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up in our streets.”
From the AP:
The shooting death of an 8-year-old girl in Atlanta prompted a $10,000 reward for information as authorities searched Monday for at least two people who opened fire on the car she was riding in near a flashpoint of recent protests.
Police identified the girl killed on Saturday night as Secoriea Turner. And officers returned to the scene late Sunday to investigate another shooting, steps away from where Secoriea was shot, that left one person dead at the scene and two others injured, news outlets reported.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for justice in Secoriea’s death during an emotional news conference Sunday with the girl’s grief-stricken mother.
“You shot and killed a baby,” the mayor said. “And there wasn’t just one shooter, there were at least two shooters.”
“You can’t blame this on a police officer,” she added. “You can’t say this about criminal justice reform. This is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an 8-year-old baby in the car for what?”
“Enough is enough,” Bottoms continued. “If you want people to take us seriously and you don’t want us to lose this movement, we can’t lose each other.”
The shooting happened near the Wendy’s restaurant where a Black man, Rayshard Brooks, was killed by a white police officer on June 12. The fast food outlet was later burned, and the area has since become a site for frequent demonstrations against police brutality.
Authorities said Secoriea was in the car with her mother and another adult when the driver tried to drive through illegally placed barricades to get to a parking lot in the area. Armed individuals blocking the entrance opened fire on the vehicle, striking it multiple times and striking the child, police said. The driver took Secoriea to Atlanta Medical Center but she did not survive.
“She was only 8 years old,” said her mother, Charmaine Turner. “She would have been on Tik Tok dancing on her phone, just got done eating. We understand the frustration of Rayshard Brooks. We didn’t have anything to do with that. We’re innocent. My baby didn’t mean no harm.”
The girl just wanted to get home to see her cousins, said her father, Secoriya Williamson.
“They say Black lives matter,” he said. “You killed your own.”
Police released a wanted poster announcing the $10,000 reward. The mayor urged anyone with information to come forward.
The mayor noted that protesters had damaged Georgia State Patrol headquarters in Atlanta in a separate incident early Sunday. She said the city’s 911 system was flooded with calls Saturday.
In addition to the shootings near the burned-out Wendy’s restaurant, Atlanta police said two other people were killed and more than 20 injured in gunfire and violence during the holiday weekend.