Law & the Courts

Atlanta Mayor Orders Protesters to ‘Clear Out’ After 8-Year-Old Girl Fatally Shot

Protesters rally against racial inequality and the police shooting death of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, Ga., June 13, 2020. (Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters)

The mayor of Atlanta is forcing protesters to “clear out” of the Wendy’s where a police officer fatally shot Rayshard Brooks last month after a violent night that included a dozen shootings citywide and the death of an 8-year-old girl, the mayor said Sunday. 

“You shot and killed a baby,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news conference. “Enough is enough.”

Secoriea Turner was shot and killed less than a half mile from the Wendy’s, which had become a place of memorial and protest since Brooks’s death on June 12. Three suspects have been arrested on suspicion of arson after protesters set the fast-food joint ablaze the day after Brooks’s death.

Interim police chief Rodney Bryant said the girl was in a car with her mother and an adult friend Saturday night when the driver tried to pull into a liquor store parking lot and was confronted by a group of armed people who had blocked the entrance, NBC News reported

“At some point someone in the group opened fire, striking the car multiple times,” he said.

Police are investigating the incident. No suspects have been identified.

Protesters had put up illegal barriers, at times flanked by armed protesters, to keep police out of the area near Wendy’s. The city reportedly had tried to take down the barriers multiple times in recent weeks. Authorities had been notified of the barriers’ resurrection less than an hour before the shooting. 

The Atlanta Police Department told Fox 5 they had planned on checking out the area but were swamped with other 911 calls.

“We’re doing each other more harm than any police officer on this force,” said Bottoms, who had allowed protesters to occupy the Wendy’s for weeks during open discussions. “We’ve had over 75 shootings in the city over the past several weeks. You can’t blame that on APD.”

Within hours of the mayor’s announcement three more people were shot, one fatally, when two people exchanged gunfire, Fox 5 reported. 

“They say black lives matter,” said the victim’s father, Secoriya Williamson. “You killed your own. You killed your own this time just because of a barrier. They killed my baby because she crossed the barrier and made a U-turn.”

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