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Home USA 7-year-old's shooting death fuels calls for private police in affluent Atlanta neighborhood

7-year-old’s shooting death fuels calls for private police in affluent Atlanta neighborhood


The random shooting death of a 7-year-old girl in #Atlanta has prompted a coalition of politicians, police and businesses to ramp up calls to establish a private security force to supplement the #Atlanta #Police #Department.

#Kennedy #Maxie.#Atlanta #Police #Department

#Seven year old #Kennedy #Maxie was fatally shot on #Dec. 21 shortly after she had finished #Christmas shopping with her family at the #Phipps #Plaza mall in #Buckhead, an affluent residential and commercial neighborhood in #Uptown #Atlanta.

A stray bullet passed through her family’s car and struck #Kennedy in the back of the head, police said.

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The girl was in critical condition for days before succumbing to her injuries on #Saturday.

#Atlanta police confirmed to NBC #News that the girl’s shooting death was one of a record-breaking number of homicides investigated by the department in 2020.

“#As of the end of the week 52 reporting period we are at 154 homicides compared with 99 for the same period of 2019,” #Atlanta #Police #Officer #Steve #Avery said in a statement. “#That is an increase of 61%.”

#Mayor #Keisha #Lance-Bottoms said that the #Atlanta #Police had “significant leads” in their search for suspects of what she called a “senseless murder” in a statement to NBC affiliate WXIA.

#Former #Atlanta #Mayor #Kasim #Reed tweeted that “the current level of violence in our city can’t stand. #We all have to work to push back against it. #It is a solvable problem. #We have done it before. #Full stop.”

#Some local politicians and interest groups are linking #Kennedy’s death to renewed calls for a security overhaul — including a private police force — to supplement the #Atlanta #Police #Department in the area.

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#Calling the shooting the result of a “dispute between two parties,” council member #Howard #Shook said #Kennedy’s death made it “obvious that the civilian authorities do not control the streets and cannot provide even a token feeling of safety beyond our front doors.”

#Speaking to #Channel 2, council member J.P. #Matzigkeit said “I don’t think that we’re doing effective policing right now because I don’t think we’re putting enough resources and attention to it like we are with the police reform work that we’re doing. #We have to do both.”

#In response to the death of #Kennedy, #Matzigkeit, #Shook, and fellow council member #Matt #Westmoreland all announced #Monday that they were allocating $125,000 of their municipal funds to the #Buckhead #Security #Plan, a proposal for a private police force in the business district.

The #Buckhead #Coalition, an advocacy group that says the neighborhood “has been called ‘The #Beverly #Hills of the #East,'” assembled the plan, which it said would “enhance public safety in #Buckhead.”

#Also backing the plan are the the #Atlanta #Police #Foundation, the #Atlanta #Police #Department, members of the #Fulton #County #Commission, a member of #Mayor #Lance-Bottoms’ administration and several community groups.

#Jim #Durrett, the #Buckhead #Coalition’s president and executive director of the #Buckhead #Community #Improvement #District, said in a press release that the #Security #Plan’s boosters “understand the urgency of the situation and are committed to responding in ways that meet the needs of this moment and put #Buckhead on a solid footing for years to come.”

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A donate button on the #Buckhead #Security #Plan website directs to an #Atlanta #Police #Foundation.

The security plan calls for a wider net of surveillance cameras and license plate readers throughout the popular commercial district. #It also calls for crackdowns on drag racing, “party houses” and for a “#Dedicated #Buckhead #Supplemental #Security #Force.”

The force would operate as “a coordinated security patrol consisting of extra-duty officers from the #Atlanta #Police #Department, the #Fulton #County #Sheriff’s #Office, the #Georgia #State #Patrol, and private security firms, within the commercial and residential areas of #Buckhead.”

The #Buckhead #Security #Plan website notes that as of this month, “overall city-wide crime rates are down approximately 17% when compared to 2019,” but that certain crime categories have increased.

The #Atlanta #Journal-Constitution reports that the plan is estimated to cost $1.6 million and that the private police officers are now scheduled to begin patrols in #January.

#Kurt chirbas contributed.





[ source link ]
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/7-year-old-kennedy-maxie-dies-less-week-after-atlanta-n1252473

#7yearolds #shooting #death #fuels #calls #private #police #affluent ##Atlanta #neighborhood

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