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Gov. Kemp meets with Anti-Gang Network discussing rising gang crime

Crime scene in Atlanta
Crime scene in Atlanta(WGCL)
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 1:28 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Gov. Kemp spoke out on Wednesday about continued efforts to combat to gang activity in the state of Georgia.

A 2018 study by Georgia Gang Investigators Association estimated the state had 71,000 gang members and 1,500 active gangs. Gang investigators estimate 60% of the violent crime in Georgia is related to gangs.

“Gangs, it’s all about making money right now: selling guns, drugs, human beings, cyber crime even stealing people’s benefits,” said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr.

Joining State Attorney General Chris Carr and director of the GBI Vic Reynolds at the Anti-Gang Network meeting, Kemp and state law enforcement leaders looking to ramp up enforcement of gang crackdowns in Georgia.

Carr said after the meeting that gang crimes are happening all over the state not just in metro Atlanta.

“Homicides are up 30% the FBI has told us that and the Georgia Gang Investigators have told us that over 60% of all violent crime in Georgia is gang-affiliated,” Carr said.

Atlanta Police Officer David Rodgers was shot multiple times on Monday by a known gang member.

“It’s outrageous,” Kemp told reporters. “Our men and women are literally on the front line being shot at. The’yre chasing very bad people it’s gone on too long in the city of Atlanta, and thankfully now we have people working on that issue,” Kemp added.

Carr is proposing legislation this week to allow his office to investigate any gang-related crimes in place of counties as they see gang crimes rise across various jurisdictions.

“It’s not about enhanced sentencing,” Carr said. “It’s not about us prosecuting the case and then the DA does as well. It’s one or the other. It just gives us the authority as well.”

CBS46 spoke to Sen. Jen Jordan who is running against Carr and says he has not done enough to prosecute gang members.

“You can’t tell me that you want to prosecute these cases when you have the ability to do so and you’re not doing it,” Jordan said, explaining that she’s learned of dozens of gang cases in Augusta-Richmond County that have had the defendants in line to be released because judges have recused themselves due to conflicts, without being replaced.

“We actually have 170 cases where local district attorneys have had to conflict out of and it’s the job of the attorney general’s per statute to appoint a conflict prosecutor so we have 170 cases across the state where the attorney general has failed to act,” Jordan told CBS46.

Kemp has been touting the efforts of his crime suppression unit, which has arrested 23 offenders in the last several months.