It has not been an easy year for Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The Democratic mayor has come under criticism for her handling of the escalating summer riots and civil unrest that spread throughout the city. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the city’s homicide numbers are the highest they have been in 22 years. In 1998, the Atlanta Police Department investigated 154 deaths. In 2019, there were only 99 murder investigations.
Recent Christmas Shooting
A shooting on Christmas weekend in Atlanta has put the spotlight back on Bottoms. The deadly weekend brought four new murders to the crime-ridden city. Two of the deaths were minors. The youngest victim was a 7-year-old girl who was killed when a stray bullet struck her. The shooting happened in Buckhead, an area known for its affluence.
Council Member Slams Bottoms
Following the latest deadly shooting, Councilman Howard Shook issued a statement criticizing Bottoms for her handling of the rapid increase in violent crime in the city. Shook said that Bottoms is minimizing the impact that the mass exodus of police officers is having on the crime situation. He also said what the city needs now is solid leadership—which it’s not getting.
Not an Ally of the Police Department
Many blame Bottoms for the uptick in crime after not standing by the police chief and the rest of the department. The summer of 2020 was particularly painful for the city as riots plagued the entire metro area. Throughout it all, Bottoms did nothing to boost the morale of law enforcement.