An explosion of violent crime in Atlanta has spilled into one of the city’s most exclusive districts, prompting residents to seek secession and their own police force, according to reports.
Crime in the chic enclave of Buckhead has gotten so bad, officials are examining their options for breaking away from Atlanta as the city’s police force was hampered by the departure of nearly 200 officers in 2020 alone.
Buckhead residents say they are “genuinely concerned for their safety” amid a slew of violent attacks, including the shooting death of a seven-year-old girl Christmas shopping with her family in December.
“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 Buckhead Exploratory Committee told the Wall Street Journal.
One Buckhead resident was followed home by armed men after picking up pizza for his family last year.
Surveillance footage shows the man fleeing into his home as a pursuer wielding a rifle exits a vehicle in the street.
Atlanta’s richest neighborhood Buckhead pushes for SECESSION and its own police force amid crime explosion: Footage captures homeowner running for his life from rifle-wielding robber- pic.twitter.com/uQDhDlDkXJ
— Blanche Victoria (@tammytabby) March 12, 2021
Lauren LeNoir, 43, was returning home from work one evening in January when she was robbed in her Buckhead driveway by two men who threw her to the pavement and put a gun to her head.
“He had no regard for my life,” LeNoir said. “They’ve stolen something that I cannot get back, and that is my sense of security.”
City officials are reportedly mulling the idea of splitting the district off from Atlanta proper, which would deal a heavy blow to tax revenues for the city.
“Buckhead’s population is 73.5 percent white and 23.9 percent black. This compares to the wider Atlanta population which is 50.7 percent black and 38 percent white,” the Daily Mail reports, citing figures from Data US.
“Aside from secession, other residents are planning to move out of Buckhead to quieter parts of the suburbs to get away from concerns around rising crime.”
During the first six weeks of 2021, robberies in the police zone that covers Buckhead were reportedly up 40 percent from the previous year, while aggravated assaults were up 35 percent.
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