Reacting to skyrocketing violent crime in Atlanta, the city's richest neighborhood has filed papers to secede and set up its own police force.
"We filed our divorce papers at the city of Atlanta — and our divorce is final," Bill White, chairman and CEO of the Buckhead City Committee, told Fox News' Bill Hemmer on Thursday.
He said he expects to have a referendum on the ballot in 2022, and 80% of his community will vote in favor of separation.
The new community, Buckhead City, will have its own court, judge and jail, White said.
"And we are going to put the smackdown on this crime once and for all here, because the people of Buckhead have had enough," he said.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms' "woke" policies, White said, have weakened the police force and emboldened criminals.
Police officers "feel demoralized, underpaid, under-recognized."
"They are being told basically not to fight crime in the way they would like to," he said.
See the interview with Bill White:
As of May 29, murders in Atlanta have spike 63% year-to-date compared to 2020.
A recent incident in Buckhead illustrated the threat. A 41-year-old man, Andrew Worrell, was shot twice while walking through his own neighborhood. At about the same time, two other joggers in the area also reported being shot.
"We’re going to get a hold of it here in Buckhead," White said.
He said the separation also will help Atlanta as well.
"We're going to be two strong cities, prosperous and safe, we pray."
In December, Mayor Bottoms admitted she didn't know how to stop the wave of violence and was "open to suggestions."
The residents wanted to create their own police force because they were "genuinely concerned for their safety and the safety of their family members."
"Residents must be wary and 'on guard' continuously, even when doing routine tasks like going to the gas station, nearby shopping mall, shopping at the grocery store or just pulling into their driveways, mindful if anyone is lurking in the bushes," the committee said.
Across the nation, homicides have risen in major cities where police have been underfunded and have taken a less aggressive approach to fighting crime in what has been dubbed the "Minneapolis Effect."
See the chart:
Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald coined the term "Ferguson Effect" in the wake of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. As police backed off from discretionary enforcement, an additional 2,000 blacks lost their lives in 2015-16 compared to the previous period. The "Minneapolis Effect," she said last summer was far worse, making the "Ferguson Effect" looking like "child's play."
In the weeks following Floyd's death, homicides rose 240% in Atlanta, 200% in Seattle, 182% in Chicago and 100% in Minneapolis.
In Atlanta, the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks by a white police officer at a Wendy's restaurant in downtown Atlanta in June 2020 ignited further protests. Brooks was shot after he wrestled two officers to the ground, punched one officer then grabbed his taser. After Brooks fired back with the taser at the two officers while fleeing, Officer Garrett Rolfe shot Brooks dead. Rolfe was charged with felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and violation of oath by a public officer.
On the day Rolfe was charged, June 12, 2020, more than half of Atlanta's beat officers engaged in a "blue flu" protest, calling out of work.
Atlanta now has about 1,700 officers on the force compared to the 2,046 it is authorized to have at one time.
Mac Donald, at a virtual event in July 2020, presented empirical evidence rebutting the Black Lives Matter's "systemic police racism" narrative.
For example, a 2019 study published by the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America concluded there is no racial disparity in police shootings once violent crime is taken into account.
As WND reported, the authors retracted that study because Mac Donald had cited it verbatim in congressional testimony and in several articles. She said she received a personal email from the authors asking her to cease and desist from citing it, even though the authors stand by their findings.
As it turns out, however, the authors did not retract a 2018 article that reached the same conclusion, that violent crime, not race, determines police shootings.
The researchers found blacks were 2.5 times more likely to be shot by police. But the authors recognized population isn't the proper benchmark, it's crime.
When you compare fatal police shootings to homicides and arrests, Mac Donald pointed out, the likelihood of being shot, in the authors' words, "flips completely."
Whites are about three times more likely to be fatally shot than blacks, once their homicide rates are taken into account, the authors found.
Others have reached the same conclusion, she noted, including Harvard economist Roland Fryer.
Officers in the 10 large cities and counties were more likely to shoot a suspect without first being attacked if the suspect was white than if the suspect was black, Fryer found.
In 2015, under President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, a Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects. In 2016, the Washington Post reported a Washington State University study finding that police officers are three times less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed white suspects.
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