Amid a citywide spike in murders of 80%, Atlanta's richest neighborhood is moving to secede and set up its own police force.
Residents of the neighborhood of Buckhead have established the Buckhead Exploratory Committee to break away as crime across all categories surges in the wake of 200 officers leaving the Atlanta police force after the shooting death of a black man by a white officer in June, reported DailyMail.com
Home surveillance footage in Buckhead, dubbed the "Beverly Hills of the South," in recent months has captured a man running to reach the safety of his house as a car pulled up with a man brandishing a rifle. One woman was thrown to the ground on her driveway and held at gunpoint as robbers took her purse and cellphone. A 7-year-old girl was shot in the head and killed during a Christmas shopping trip with her family.
In December, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms admitted she doesn't know how to stop the wave of violence and is "open to suggestions."
Atlanta Police Department crime data shows robberies increased 40% from Jan. 1 to Feb. 20 compared to the same period last year in zone two, which includes Buckhead. Aggravated assaults rose 35%, auto theft 63% and larceny from auto theft 32%.
The Buckhead Exploratory Committee told the Wall Street Journal residents want to create their own police force because they are "genuinely concerned for their safety and the safety of their family members."
"Residents must be wary and 'on guard' continuously, even when doing routine tasks like going to the gas station, nearby shopping mall, shopping at the grocery store or just pulling into their driveways, mindful if anyone is lurking in the bushes," the committee said.
Across the nation, homicides rose in 29 of 34 cities surveyed in the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice report. Homicide rates were up 30% in 2020 compared to 2019 as an additional 1,268 people were murdered.
A chart of homicide data compiled from 19 cities shows a spike in murders immediately after the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day last May, confirming analysts who attribute the record homicide rate to the "Minneapolis Effect."
See the chart:
Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald coined the term "Ferguson Effect" in the wake of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. As police backed off from discretionary enforcement, an additional 2,000 blacks lost their lives in 2015-16 compared to the previous period. The "Minneapolis Effect," she said last summer was far worse, making the "Ferguson Effect" looking like "child's play."
In the weeks following Floyd's death, homicides rose 240% in Atlanta, 200% in Seattle, 182% in Chicago and 100% in Minneapolis.
In Atlanta, the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks by a white police officer at a Wendy's restaurant in downtown Atlanta last June ignited further protests. Brooks was shot after he wrestled two officers to the ground, punched one officer then grabbed his taser. After Brooks fired back with the taser at the two officers while fleeing, Officer Garrett Rolfe shot Brooks dead. Rolfe was charged with felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and violation of oath by a public officer.
On the day Rolfe was charged, June 12, more than half of Atlanta's beat officers engaged in a "blue flu" protest, calling out of work.
Atlanta now has about 1,700 officers on the force compared to the 2,046 it is authorized to have at one time.
Mac Donald, at a virtual event last July, presented empirical evidence rebutting the Black Lives Matter's "systemic police racism" narrative.
For example, a 2019 study published by the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America concluded there is no racial disparity in police shootings once violent crime is taken into account.
As WND reported, the authors retracted that study because Mac Donald had cited it verbatim in congressional testimony and in several articles. She said she received a personal email from the authors asking her to cease and desist from citing it, even though the authors stand by their findings.
As it turns out, however, the authors did not retract a 2018 article that reached the same conclusion, that violent crime, not race, determines police shootings.
The researchers found blacks were 2.5 times more likely to be shot by police. But the authors recognized population isn't the proper benchmark, it's crime.
When you compare fatal police shootings to homicides and arrests, Mac Donald pointed out, the likelihood of being shot, in the authors' words, "flips completely."
Whites are about three times more likely to be fatally shot than blacks, once their homicide rates are taken into account, the authors found.
Others have reached the same conclusion, she noted, including Harvard economist Roland Fryer.
Officers in the 10 large cities and counties were more likely to shoot a suspect without first being attacked if the suspect was white than if the suspect was black, Fryer found.
In 2015, under President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, a Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects. In 2016, the Washington Post reported a Washington State University study finding that police officers are three times less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed white suspects.
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