With murders & rapes on the rise in Atlanta, APD launches ‘Anti Crime Unit’

One of the first deaths of the year was six-month-old Grayson Fleming-Gray, who was killed in Atlanta in the crossfire of a shooting in January.
Young boy killed while riding in mother's car in metro Atlanta.
Young boy killed while riding in mother's car in metro Atlanta.(WGCL)
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 8:10 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Statistics released by the Atlanta Police Department show homicides are up 41% during the first seven weeks of 2022 compared to the same time period last year.

That equates to 24 homicides in the first six weeks of 2022, compared to 17 homicides from this time last year.

One of those deaths is six-month-old Grayson Fleming-Gray, who was killed in the crossfire of a shooting in January. He was in the back seat of his mom’s car when she stopped at a store on Anderson Avenue. Shots rang out.

6-month-old Grayson Fleming was killed in the crossfire of an Atlanta shooting Monday night.
6-month-old Grayson Fleming was killed in the crossfire of an Atlanta shooting Monday night.(CBS 46)

One month after his death, loved ones gathered with stuffed animals and other mementos to build a memorial for Grayson. His mom offered a message of hope.

“We need more positivity, more love,” said Kerri Gray, Grayson’s mom. “Start when they’re young. Teach them that this is what it’s about. The love. The can I help you. Don’t shy away. There’s more good than bad out there.”

Rapes are also up in Atlanta, an astounding 236% with 37 rapes reported in 2022 so far, compared to 11 during the same time period in 2021.

The Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault (GNESA) says the problem is a lot larger than what we’re seeing on paper.

“Research already tells us the majority of people do not report their assaults. So the fact that we have 37 that reported, like I said there’s already going to be a larger number that haven’t reported,” said Jennifer Bivins, president of the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault, which is also called the Georgia Sexual Assault Coalition. “When you’re talking about health and communities, you’re talking about safe communities, this is at the root of that. It does affect the community and research shows that it affects the community.”

APD Anti Crime Unit
APD Anti Crime Unit(CBS46)

Chief Rodney Bryant touted the creation of a new “Anti Crime Unit” made up of APD, Fulton County Sheriff Office, Georgia State Patrol and Atlanta Corrections to combat the increase in crime.

“We recognize we have to be progressive in what we are doing. We also have to be more proactive than reactive,” said APD Chief Rodney Bryant. “We’re utilizing every partnership, technology, conversation, relationship that we can to resolve the violence that we are seeing.”

Since the Anti Crime Unit was created three weeks ago, Chief Bryant says 77 arrests have been made. 23 of them were wanted. 14 firearms have also been recovered.

The Anti Crime Unit will target repeat crime locations across Atlanta.

“We’re focusing on the city as a whole and that’s our goal every week, is to touch every single zone,” said APD Major William Ricker, Zone 3.

Chief Bryant also noted that property crimes are down 9% from this time last year. So are robberies, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

Read through APD crime data here.

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