Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Buckhead Residents Seek to Split From Atlanta Amid Rising Crime Rates

*Several residents of Buckhead, a wealthy Atlanta neighborhood, are pushing to split from the city amid concerns over rising crime rates. 

We previously reported, 2020 was the deadliest year in Atlanta in decades, according to ajc.com. As such, Atlanta city council members have proposed a $1.6million plan to create a private police force for Buckhead. 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. 

Atlanta police are also working to track down the person who fatally shot a man in Buckhead early Sunday on Sidney Marcus Boulevard near Piedmont Road. The man was reportedly driving a Rolls Royce when another vehicle pulled up next to him at a red light and fired several shots. The driver, believed to be in his 40s or 50s, was hit multiple times but was able to drive into a nearby parking lot where he crashed into a tree. He later died at a local hospital.

Now, a newly formed nonprofit group is trying to raise $15,000 to study making Buckhead into its own city, per bizjournals.com.

READ MORE: 2020 Marks Atlanta’s Deadliest Year in Decades

“The first thing most critical to us is a polling study to ask you, the Buckhead community, your thoughts to understand your perceptions and your issues,”  Sam Lenaeus of the Buckhead Exploratory Committee said during a recent town hall. “That’s the biggest hurdle we have today, to have the funds in place to do this first poll.” 

Meanwhile, ATL resident, rapper Ludacris, had his car stolen during a quick stop at the ATM on Monday, the local NBC affiliate reported.

Luda told authorities that the incident occurred when he stopped at the ATM and left his black Mercedes-Benz running. Officers were able to track the car electronically to a parking deck in Midtown. The Benz was returned to the hip-hop star but the car thief remains at large 

Jim Durrett, president of the Buckhead Coalition, said the organization opposes the Buckhead cityhood movement.

“Consistent with our longstanding position, the Buckhead Coalition does not support cityhood for Buckhead,” Durrett said in an email. “While we understand the frustrations that have led others to begin exploring that possibility, we believe that the best path forward for both Buckhead and Atlanta is to address our very real challenges cooperatively. We will continue to dedicate our efforts and our resources every day to doing so.”

Durrett said a Buckhead split from the city of Atlanta would have a negative impact. 

“Pursuing such an effort would be unnecessarily divisive, would negatively impact Atlanta and the region, and would not lead to the kind of working relationships we’ll all need to solve the problems we’re facing as a community,” he said. “We’ll continue to work closely with our elected representatives and other Buckhead organizations to address issues with safety and security, service levels, the quality of our public infrastructure and the quality of life in Buckhead.”

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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