A Black Lives Matter protest in Atlanta turned tragic Saturday night when an 8-year-old girl was shot and killed by demonstrators.
Secoriea Turner was shot near the Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was killed during a skirmish with police June 12, according to WSB-TV. The restaurant, which was burned by protesters, has been occupied by demonstrators in recent weeks.
The girl was riding in a car with her mother and a friend of her mother’s when they sought to turn into a parking lot and were blocked by protesters.
“At some point, someone in that group opened fire on the vehicle, striking it multiple times and striking the child who was inside. The driver then drove to Atlanta Medical Center for help,” police said in a statement. Secoriea was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died.
“They say black lives matter,” Secoriya Williamson, Secoriea’s father, said at a news conference Sunday. “You killed your own. You killed your own this time. … You killed a child. She didn’t do nothing to nobody.”
Charmaine Turner, Secoriea’s mother, said her daughter died in her arms.
“She was only 8 years old. … We understand the frustration of Rayshard Brooks,” Turner said. “We understand. We didn’t have anything to do with that. We’re innocent. We didn’t mean no harm. My baby didn’t mean no harm.”
Charmaine Turner, mother of 8-year-old shooting victim Secoriea Turner, pleads with the public for help to find the person responsible for killing her daughter last night on University Ave. and Pryor. A $10,000 reward is being offered to help solve the crime. @11AliveNews pic.twitter.com/tToUxavgAS
— Natisha Lance (@NatishaLance) July 5, 2020
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms ripped into protesters who are keeping silent about the child’s shooting.
“You can’t blame this on a police officer. You can’t say this is about criminal justice reform. This is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an 8-year-old baby in the car — for what?” she said, according to WSB.
In the aftermath of the deaths of Brooks and George Floyd, Bottoms had indicated she felt sympathy for the goals of the protesters, but she showed none of that after Secoriea was killed.
“Enough is enough. If you want people to take us seriously and you don’t want us to lose this movement, we can’t lose each other,” the mayor said.
She added that her patience with demonstrators who have occupied the Wendy’s where Brooks was killed has ended, noting that they erected barriers even after the city took some down. The car in which Secoriea was riding was seeking to evade the barriers when it was hit by gunfire, police said. Bottoms said the area will be cleared.
“At the point that an 8-year-old baby is killed, the discussions have ended,” Bottoms said.
JUST IN: The shooting death of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner in Atlanta prompted a $10,000 reward for information on the suspects. This comes after at least two people opened fire on the car Secoriea was riding in near a flashpoint of recent protests.#FOX26 #LIVEDESK https://t.co/cFbaXTxhME
— Michael Ikahihifo (@Mike_Ikahihifo) July 6, 2020
Interim Police Chief Rodney Bryant said everyone must do more to prevent future tragedies.
“We cannot tolerate losing a child from the city of Atlanta,” Bryant said. “We have to do a better job as a community and as a police department and as the citizens that live in this city.”
Police have offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individuals who shot and killed Secoriea.
Bottoms said at least two people shot at the car, and she urged those with information to work with the police.
“I am just asking you to please honor this baby’s life,” the mayor said. “If you know who did this, please turn them in. These people are a danger to all of us.”
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