Atlanta mayor denounces violent crime and shooting death of 15-year-old girl

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ATLANTA, Ga (CW69 News at 10) – Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms held a press conference at the Atlanta Police Department (APD) headquarters on Tuesday to tackle crime, after a violent weekend of 12 shootings and of four homicides.

Bottoms says that despite the city’s efforts to tackle crime, the violence continues. “We are here again, on the heels of another child in our town who was shot and killed,” she said. Diamond Johnson, 15, was shot and killed when a fight broke out between a group of young people at one location and was transferred to 790 Glenwood Avenue. “Despite the fact that the DPA has removed 2,000 guns from our streets and arrested over 700 violent offenders, it is still not enough,” Bottoms said.

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She recalled how the city had already added 250 agents on the street, developed its camera technology and increased the number of license plate readers. Bottoms now says she’s creating a small task force to make recommendations on what else the city can do. She also appointed Acting Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant as the new permanent chief. “Yeah, we’ve got a long way to go, but I see the way to get us there,” said Bryant. He says morale among officers in Atlanta is improving, despite recruiting challenges. “We also know that the police have to rename themselves. We did not quite understand. We were wrong as a profession, ”he said.

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Bryant says APD is restructuring several police units and partnering with several agencies, including the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Bottoms says stronger gun laws are needed at the state level. “Until that happens, I’m so sad to say it probably won’t be the last time I stand here,” she said.

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Police are still investigating the shootings and are offering a reward of up to $ 5,000 for information about the shooting that killed Diamond Johnson. Information on this case and others can be submitted anonymously to the Crime Stoppers Atlanta hotline at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or online here.

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