Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency and authorized the activation of up to 1,000 National Guard troops after a weekend of violence in Atlanta left five people dead, including an 8-year-old girl, USA Today reports. Kemp said troops would provide support at certain locations including the Capitol and governor’s mansion, freeing up state law enforcement resources to patrol other areas. “Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead,” Kemp said. “This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city.”
Saturday night’s fatal shooting of Secoriea Turner, 8, prompted a $10,000 reward for information as authorities searched for at least two people who opened fire on the car she was riding in near an area of recent protests. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for justice in Secoriea’s death during an emotional news conference with the girl’s grief-stricken mother. “You can’t blame this on a police officer,” the mayor said. “You can’t say this is about criminal justice reform. This is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an 8-year-old baby in the car for what?” The killing happened near the Wendy’s restaurant where a Black man, Rayshard Brooks, was killed by a white police officer June 12. The fast food outlet was later burned, and the area has become a site for frequent demonstrations against police brutality. Kemp’s office said that over thirty people were wounded by gunfire, including five dead, over the holiday weekend. The state of emergency will remain in effect until at least July 13.