With Atlanta violent crime rates skyrocketing, Gov. Brian Kemp should take center stage and deliver the biggest, “I told you so,” in the history of public safety. The reason? As Kemp has consistently messaged, many times gangs are responsible for rising crime. Kemp’s steadfastness against the Gang Crisis stands in stark contrast to the deliberate indifference of far too many of political and media elites. This is nothing new, and Kemp and his team should strike quickly and decisively to say so.
According to WSB-TV, Atlanta has seen a “massive spike in crime over last month,” to include reports that “murders are up 86% over 28 days last month compared to the same time last year” and “a 22% rise in aggravated assaults and a 14% increase in burglaries.” WSB-TV further described, “Last month, the city of Atlanta saw its most violent month of the years. Data shows from May 31 to June 20, police investigated 75 shootings, including 17 homicides.”
Concluding “shootings surge, but it’s not the cops” the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Bill Torpy similarly observed, “During the first three weeks of this month — May 31 to June 20 — 75 people have been shot in Atlanta. Last year during that period, 35 people were shot in the city. At this rate it’ll be 100 shot by July. Eleven people have been killed during that three-week period. Last year? Five.”
Identifying the cause, WSB-TV’s sources revealed, “most of the shootings are gang-related.”
For years, InsiderAdvantage has chronicled the foregoing failings, delineated that they have led to increase in gang crime, gang victims, and gang recruiting– and made recommendations for turning the gang-crime denying tide for the sake of public safety.
In terms of Atlanta, which is housed in both Fulton and DeKalb counties, this is especially pertinent.
Minimizing Gang Charging Maximizes Gang Crime
The reported surge of gang violence in Atlanta is not due to some sudden outburst. It was a foreseeable outgrowth of recognized trends. As recently as May 8, InsiderAdvantage reported that, based upon research obtained from the Georgia Gang Investigators Association, when considered against the FBI’s estimate of the number of gang members, Metro Atlanta counties combined for a less than 1% gang-member-to-arrest-rate under Georgia’s anti-gang laws for 2019.
When bottom-basement gang charging rates generated DeKalb County setting a new record for homicides, a December 12, 2019 InsiderAdvantage article explained, “The math is simple. When gang arrests nosedive, gang crime increases.”
Just how low were Fulton and DeKalb’s charging under O.C.G.A. § 16-15-4, the charging section of Georgia’s anti-gang act, according to the Georgia Gang Investigators Association? Fulton came in at merely 98, DeKalb a measly 38.
Even if those numbers were ten-fold that amount, it would be a scandalous.
Fourth Estate Fidelity
Examining escalating Atlanta crime rates, Torpy ponders, “Where is the outrage?” Of course, unacceptably low Atlanta anti-gang law charging is outrageous, as is the equally unacceptable, commensurate high volume of Atlanta gang crime. Neither is anything new, nor is the Atlanta media’s refusal to report or confront officials about it. InsiderAdvantage has pointed this out, more than once.
If Torpy believes there should be outrage, he should issue a call to arms to local media. Fulton and DeKalb officials should be hounded about what they will do ensure an increase in Georgia anti-gang act arrests and prosecutions.
Similarly, state lawmakers from Fulton and DeKalb Counties should be confronted about Kemp’s still pending anti-gang legislation, Georgia House Bill 994. While national commentary in the Conservative Review and Law Enforcement Today decried efforts to decimate Kemp’s needed proposals, the bill can be resurrected to revive the protections that were eliminated and add others that would further improve public safety.
In addition, Atlanta’s media needs to confront U.S. Senate aspirants as well as U.S. congressional candidates whose districts include Fulton and DeKalb Counties concerning whether, in light of growing Atlanta gang crime, they would support passage of a federal anti-gang prosecution law.
Lastly, maybe Torpy could start a movement of reporters and columnists to demand apologies from gang crime deniers and the pro-gang community for their part in contributing to the expanding ranks of gang crime victims.
Kemp: Keep Chopping Away at Gangs
Amid the chaos of Atlanta gang crime, the governor could strike a decisive blow in favor of public safety. By identifying gangs as the cause of the barrage of violent crime swelling in Atlanta, Kemp would be unassailably accurate and steer conversations where they need to go.
Kemp would also remain consistent with the themes that won him the governorship. Kemp’s plan to “stop and dismantle gangs” resonated in 2018, as did his inspired comments on the need to confront gangs during Kemp’s 2020 state of the state address. That message is clearly needed in light of Atlanta’s growing gang violence. It would also expose gang crime-denying politicians and media whose barefaced refusals to properly contend with the gang pandemic leads more lives destroyed every day.
And, besides, an occasional “I told you so,” can be therapeutic, both for the reciter, and the audience.
Especially when, as here, Kemp would be right to deliver it.
Phil Kent is the CEO & Publisher of InsiderAdvantage Georgia & James magazine.