Atlanta Mayor Bottoms: Crime Spike Partially Due to Georgia Opening Early, ‘We Had People Traveling Here’ 

On Friday’s “MSNBC Live,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) said that part of the reason homicides in the city have increased from pre-pandemic levels is because Georgia “opened up before the rest of the country, even before the CDC said that it was safe for us to open.” And “We had people traveling here from across the country to party in our city.”

Bottoms acknowledged that there is a crime spike in cities across the country, including in Atlanta, and stated that school closures, mental health issues, and easy access to guns are contributors to the problem.

After host Stephanie Ruhle asked about the increase in killings in Atlanta from before the pandemic, Bottoms responded, “I think there are a couple of things that you have to compare. Remember, in Georgia, we were opened up before the rest of the country, even before the CDC said that it was safe for us to open. So, our nightclubs and our bars remained open. We had people traveling here from across the country to party in our city. So, we believe our comparable numbers are from 2019, which they are still up. But again, this is an issue that’s happening in cities across the country.”

Bottoms further stated that the pandemic has contributed to the crime surge and that police forces across the country are struggling to retain and attract officers.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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