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Atlanta reacts to killing of 8-year-old girl near Rayshard Brooks’ memorial

Eight-year-old Secoriea Turner. (Image source: Instagram – @1liltye)

Atlanta experienced a violent holiday weekend that ended with multiple shootings and the death of an 8-year-old girl.

The young girl, Secoria Turner, was riding in a car with her mother and friend near a makeshift memorial for Rayshard Brooks’ on Saturday, July 4, 2020, when the incident occurred, according to WSB-TV.

Protests erupted after Brooks was shot on June 12 by former Atlanta Police Department Officer Garrett Rolfe in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant on University Avenue. The Wendy’s was set ablaze the day after Brooks’ death, and a memorial was created on the site.

Peaceful demonstrations were held there in the days that followed. However, a group of armed protesters or individuals seeking to disrupt began enforcing rules concerning who could enter certain areas near Wendy’s and erected a barricade. On July 4, an armed individual allegedly forced the car that Turner was riding in to turn around. As the driver of the vehicle was attempting to make a U-turn, someone opened fire on the car. Turner died at the hospital.

The child’s death coincided with a violent holiday weekend where 14 people were shot and two reportedly died during a shootout on Auburn Avenue; five people were shot on Lakewood Avenue; and a 53-year-old man was killed in a shootout at a gas station near the Wendy’s where Brooks was killed.

After Turner’s death, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms held a news conference where she blasted the ongoing violence in Atlanta.

“Enough is enough,” Bottoms said. “We have talked about this movement that is happening across America at this moment in time when we have the ears and the interest of people across this country and across this globe who are saying they want to see change. We’re fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up in our streets. You shot and killed a baby, and it wasn’t one shooter, there were at least two shooters. … We’ve had over 75 shootings in the city over the past several weeks. You can’t blame that on APD [Atlanta Police Department].