Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency and authorized up to 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops to be activated after violence and property destruction throughout the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead,” Kemp said in a statement. “This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city. I have declared a State of Emergency and called up the Georgia Guard because the safety of our citizens comes first. This measure will allow troops to protect state property and dispatch state law enforcement officers to patrol our streets. Enough with the tough talk. We must protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”
The executive order mentions more than 30 gunshot victims with at least five deaths.
“Criminals are now victimizing Georgians to inflict chaos, cause fear among residents, and thwart law enforcement,” according to the executive order.
The state of emergency will expire at 11:59 p.m. July 13.
“The Georgia Guard will provide support at state buildings, including the Georgia State Capitol, Georgia Department of Public Safety Headquarters, and Governor’s Mansion. This aid will allow state law enforcement personnel to increase patrols on roadways and throughout communities, especially those in the City of Atlanta,” according to a release from the governor’s office.