Residents of ritzy Atlanta community plagued by violence seek separate police force

Residents of ritzy Atlanta community plagued by violence seek separate police force

June 10, 2021

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Residents in an exclusive Atlanta neighborhood wracked by violent crime are reportedly calling for drastic action to increase security — including turning the enclave into an independent city to police itself amid the mayhem.

The Buckhead City Committee on Thursday will demand emergency hearings as part of its efforts to become a separate entity from Atlanta, the group’s chairman and CEO Bill White told Fox News on Wednesday.

“Given everything that’s been going on here, it’s getting worse and worse and worse,” he said. “So what we’re doing because of the murders going through the roof and the attempted murders, and the lack of leadership and nothing changing — the insanity continues — is we’re demanding emergency hearings on our cityhood bills.”

White added: “I say we have three major issues and that’s all we have … crime, crime and crime.”

His call comes as the upscale community has been beset by a wave of violence, including the shooting of 41-year-old Andrew Worell.

The father-of-three was taking a walk Saturday morning when a silver Hyundai sedan pulled alongside him, according to Fox News.

“The very tinted window rolled down and the guy pointed a gun at him and shot him,” his wife, Pearce Worrell, wrote on Facebook after the shooting.

The suspect, identified as 22-year-old Gaelen Newsom, first shot Worrell in the leg, then fired again as “Andrew turned to run,” Pearce Worrell wrote.

The second round went through his hip and into his ball-and-socket joint, she wrote, and then into his lower abdomen before entering his right hip.

Newsom allegedly fired at two other people jogging in the area but they were not injured, police said.

Deputy Atlanta Police Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said Newsom went on to crash into and seriously injure a man who was taking out the garbage, according to Fox News.

He has reportedly been charged with one count of attempted murder, three counts of aggravated assault, and two counts of possession of a firearm.

On Sunday, a man was fatally shot at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead, police said. His brother was later charged in the killing, according to the report.

As of May 29, murders in Atlanta were up 63 percent year-to-date compared to 2020, with 57 reported this year, accord to police statistics cited by the network.

The number of shootings was also up 45 percent, from 208 in 2020 to 302 this year.

In Buckhead specifically, murders year-to-date were up 40 percent as of May 29, with seven this year and five in 2020, according to the statistics reported by Fox News.

That’s a 133 percent spike from the three reported at the same time in 2019 — but murder jumped 200 percent in the most recently available 28-day period.

Two have been reported this year compared to none during the same period in 2020, Fox News reported.

“People believe truly that this is an emergency — that’s the message I’m getting — and that we are living in a war zone,” White told the outlet. “My friends, will not go to the gas station to pump gas, especially if they have the children in the car.”

As part of his committee’s efforts to separate from Atlanta, White said they plan to create their own police force.

“You will never hear us knocking the police. It’s not their fault,” White said, as he described how the number of cops in the jurisdiction was lacking. “It is life threatening. It is unfathomable.”

White was asked about Buckhead’s call for more cops during a time when people nationwide have been calling for police budgets to be cut.

“The diverse community of Buckhead hears that and says, ‘Go to hell’ … I’ve talked to communities in Atlanta, leaders and, you know, really hard crime areas in Atlanta … The only thing they’re telling me and begging me to help them with is more police, not less police,” he told Fox News.

 “The thing with crime is it’s colorblind. It’s hitting black people, it’s hitting white people … this has nothing to do with politics,” White added.

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