Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has been as bad as any other elected Democrat over the last month when it comes to taking a knee before unhinged protesters and rioters. But after this weekend, which saw an armed group of people shoot and kill 8-year-old Secoriea Turner (across the street from the burned-out Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed, no less), Bottoms decided that she’d seen enough. At a press conference on Sunday, Bottoms took a much different tone on the Black Lives Matter protests, pleading with the community to turn their attention to themselves.
“Secoriea Turner was shot and killed last night, and it was not by the hands of police officers,” Bottoms said. “It was by the hands of a coward, cowards, who are still out and about in our community. This happened … near the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed a few weeks ago.
“We’ve talk a lot about what we are demanding from our officers in our communities,” Bottoms continued. “We’ve protested, we’ve demonstrated, we’ve been angry, we’ve cried, we’ve demanded action. Well now we’re demanding action for Secoriea Turner and for all of the other people who were shot in Atlanta last night and over the past few weeks because the reality is this – these aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta, these are members of the community shooting each other, and in this case, it is the worst possible outcome.”
Bottoms went further, urging racial protesters to put their focus on the true dangers facing the black community.
“Enough is enough. Enough is enough,” she said. “We have talked about this movement that’s happening across America in this moment in time where we have the ears and the interest of people across this country and across this globe who were saying they want to see change. We’re fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up on our streets in the city and you shot and killed a baby. And it wasn’t one shooter, there were at least two shooters. An 8-year-old baby. If you want people to take us seriously, and you don’t want us to lose this movement, then we can’t lose each other.
“You can’t blame this on a police officer, you can’t say this is about criminal justice reform,” she continued. “This is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an eight-year-old baby in the car. We got to stop this. We are doing each other more harm than any police officer on this force. We’ve had over 75 shootings in the city over the past several weeks. You can’t blame that on APD. So, I’m just asking you to please honor this baby’s life. Please, if you know who did this, please turn them in. These people are a danger to all of us.”
It’s a colossal tragedy that it took the death of a precious 8-year-old to wake city leaders up to what ought to be the real Black Lives Matter movement in America. It’s an even bigger tragedy that – this speech aside – Secoriea Turner’s name will be forgotten long before George Floyd’s.