Collins backs National Guard deploying in Georgia
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday he’s “glad” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp activated the National Guard, adding that he applauds his actions.
“It’s been something we need to see done,” Collins said. “We need to give support to our local police down there and I think the governor has done the right thing here.”
Kemp, a Republican, declared a state of emergency Monday following an uptick in shootings over the July Fourth weekend that injured 31 people and killed five, including an 8-year-old girl, after weeks of violent crime and property destruction in Atlanta.
"Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot and left for dead," Kemp said in a statement. "This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city.”
Among those killed over the holiday weekend was Secoriea Turner, 8, who was riding in a car Saturday night in Atlanta when at least two people opened fire on the vehicle. The shooting happened near the Wendy's fast-food restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was killed by a police officer last month, prompting weeks of protests and clashes between demonstrators and police.
“Why does it take a death?” Collins asked on Tuesday.
“It just is sad because these minority communities, the communities that are hardest hit right now, are the ones that blow the brunt of this,” he added. “Why are we doing this? We need to stop it now, that’s why the governor, I think, brought in the National Guard.”
Collins went on to say that “this is the thing that has to happen because it shouldn't take a tragic death for somebody to all of a sudden say, ‘Wow we need to enforce the law.’”
Collins noted that “anywhere where you allow lawlessness to exist,” when “the police are told to disengage” and when “the mayor’s office seemingly was just letting it [violence] happen,” lawlessness won’t “be contained,” which he said is “going to cause more and more problems.”
He added that “unfortunately” that’s what “we saw it in Seattle, now we've seen in Atlanta.” Collins had referenced the infamous Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone in Seattle, which was forcefully cleared out last week after the city’s leadership finally acted following two deadly shootings and weeks of scrutiny.
Collins, whose father was a police officer, told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday that the people who call for defunding police departments are saying that officers “don’t matter.”
“The law enforcement teams are there to protect not only lives and property, they're there to encourage our communities, to have the civil discourse, to have the community bonding that we know that we can go out and be safe.”
“We know we can go anywhere in our cities and know that the rule of law is being enforced," he continued. "And when you talk about defunding the police or cutting back on the police, simply what you're telling those police officers, who put their lives on the line for us every day, is ‘we don't value you.’”
“So any of these departments, any of the city councils, any place that says 'we will take [away] money,' are saying ‘we don't value you,’” he added.