Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has used the controversial shooting of Ahmaud Arbery to attack the “rhetoric” being used by US President Donald Trump and his administration.
“It’s 2020 and this was a ‘lynching’ of an African American man,” Bottoms told CNN on Sunday about the case of Arbery, a black jogger who was allegedly chased and killed by two white men in Georgia at the end of February.
Arbery’s case has gained national attention mainly due to the fact that murder charges were not filed until a cellphone video showing the 25-year-old man being confronted went viral in recent days. Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, have been charged with murder and aggravated assault. Both men claim they were acting in self-defense.
Bottoms says if the video had not received public attention, charges likely would not have been filed. It’s a sentiment that is growing among Georgia officials, as Attorney General Chris Carr promised on Saturday to examine how the case was handled “from the outset.”
But Bottoms took things further by attempting to tie Arbery’s death to the Trump administration and a “lack of leadership at the top.”
“It’s a part of the bigger issue that we are having in this country with the rhetoric we hear coming out of the White House in so many ways,” she says. “I think that many who are prone to being racist are given permission to do it in an overt way that we otherwise would not see in 2020.”
Blaming crimes against minorities on the president’s rhetoric and using them to criticize his leadership is nothing new from the left.
The Southern Poverty Law Center released a report last year linking an uptick in hate crimes to the president and his language.
Even mass shootings have been linked back to Trump by his critics, including the El Paso shooting in August that left 23 dead.
After reports leaked that the shooter had a manifesto with racist language about Hispanics, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas) and others did their best to tie the event to the president and his hardline stance on illegal immigration.
“He encourages [this] kind of open racism,” the former congressman told the press.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went further in her criticism, saying the president was “directly responsible” for the shooting.
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