Atlanta suburb residents demand separate police force as crime rages: 'We are living in a war zone'
Buckhead City Committee CEO tells 'Tucker' the community has 'filed for divorce' from Atlanta
A seemingly unprovoked weekend violence spree through Atlanta’s ritzy Buckhead neighborhood has highlighted what area officials see as a need for more security and public safety protocols, as the recent crime jump has made some residents too scared to even pump gas at certain places.
Last week, the Buckhead City Committee, formerly the Buckhead Exploratory Committee, demanded emergency hearings as part of its ongoing effort to become a separate entity from the city of Atlanta, said Bill White, the group’s CEO and chairman.
"We are living in a war zone," White told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Monday. "That is how we describe living in Buckhead. And what has happened here in the last several years is an incredibly dangerous spike in crime and a complete vacuum of leadership. The police in Atlanta are great policemen and women, we love them and they just want to do their job but they are not being allowed to do that," he said.
White said the community has decided to "file for divorce."
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"What we are saying to the city of Atlanta is we are going to form our own city. We have two bills in the state legislature. We have raised the requisite amount of money we need right now to move this forward. There will be a ballot initiative on the ballot next November. And we are going to take our city back for the great families of Buckhead once and for all," he explained.
White pointed to disturbing video footage he obtained that shows a drive-by shooting in motion as a bullet goes through a nearby vehicle hits an innocent passerby on the street.
White noted that while police officers were present at the time of the shooting, they were instructed not to chase the suspect to avoid "getting in accidents."
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"My friend who took that ran down to find out why in god's name they didn't chase that person who attempted to murder all those people? And they were told that Mayor [Keisha Lance] Bottoms issued an order not to chase cars around Atlanta because she doesn't want the police getting in accidents. All those people shot, two police right there wanted to go…and put this smackdown on that attempted murderer," he said.
"There are only 82 cups in Buckhead right now with the square footage of San Francisco that has 2,000 cops," White added.
"One of the things we are positive about is we will put the smackdown on crime once and for all and make Buckhead a great place to live again "
Responding to critics who accuse Buckhead residents of racism for demanding additional security, White said flatly,
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"You know, racist and this and that and the other thing, all hateful, very disturbing, unhelpful language that is fearmongering – that will not stop the crime."
What will stop the crime is the establishment of the Buckhead city police department. We plan on having 300 police officers for a long period of time."
Fox News' Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.