Monday, January 25, 2021

Death of Kennedy Maxie, 7, Prompts Atlanta to Propose $1.6M Plan for Private Police in Buckhead

*Atlanta city council members have proposed a $1.6million plan to create a private police force for Buckhead, one of its wealthiest suburbs. 

The move comes after Kennedy Maxie, 7, was shot in the head by a stray bullet while Christmas shopping with her family at Phipps Plaza on December 21. She died five days later from her injuries. 

Police have announced a suspect in the killing of the little girl, and have issued warrants for the arrest of 24-year-old Daquan Reed

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called the shooting a “senseless murder.”

“While the Atlanta Police Department has significant leads in the apprehension of those responsible, it does not erase the pain felt when a beautiful, vibrant, and loving child is tragically taken from her family,” she said. “We urge the public to continue to provide information that will lead to the arrests of the careless and heartless people responsible for Kennedy’s death.”

According to the Daily Mail, members of Bottoms’ administration support the proposal that is also backed by local law enforcement. 

READ MORE: Atlanta Gas Station Up For Sale After Months of Anti-Racist Protests [VIDEO]

Kennedy’s death marked the 155th homicide victim in Atlanta this year, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Here’s more from the Daily Mail:

  • Atlanta city council members on Monday announced they were allocating $125,000 to fund the ‘Buckhead Security Plan’, which intends to establish a private security force in the area to supplement the Atlanta Police Department, NBC reported.
  • The plan is divided into two major categories, the first being ‘Deterrence & Enforcement,’ which seeks to install more license plate readers and cameras to cover all major intersections in the neighborhood.
  • Under its second category, titled, ‘Policy & Procedural Change’, the proposal calls for ‘new approaches’ to ongoing issues and crackdowns on noise, ‘street racing’ and  ‘spot checking overcrowding at problematic establishments’. 

“We are taking action to reverse recent trends in crime, hold lawbreakers accountable, and restore citizen confidence that Buckhead is safe and secure,’ said Jim Durrett, president of Buckhead Coalition and executive director of Buckhead Community Improvement District.

“The partners collaborating on this effort understand the urgency of the situation and are committed to responding in ways that meet the needs of this moment and put Buckhead on a solid footing for years to come.”

Council member J.P. Matzigkeit has called on the city to increase efforts in effective policing.

“I don’t think that we’re doing effective policing right now because I don’t think we’re putting enough resources and attention to it like we are with the police reform work that we’re doing. We have to do both,” he told Channel 2.

‘It is obvious that the civilian authorities do not control the streets and cannot provide even a token feeling of safety beyond our front doors,’ said council member Howard Shook in a statement.

“To the administration, I don’t want to hear the word “uptick.” Stop minimizing our concerns by telling us that “crime is up everywhere.”

“Spare us from the lie that the steady outflow of our officers isn’t as bad as it is. And please, not another throw-away press conference utterly devoid of game-changing action steps,” he added. 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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