Fulton County

Fulton DA says Atlanta has a new public health crisis: violence

ATLANTA — Fulton County’s district attorney is expressing her frustration over the city of Atlanta’s rising crime rate.

Fulton DA Fani Willis was so upset, she shared her anger on social media. It’s something very seldom you get to see that frustration in such a public forum.

But she told Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston in a one-on-one interview that she has had it with the shootings and violence.

“We had a public health emergency. I get it. But we’ve got another public health emergency now -- it’s called violence,” Willis said.

On Monday, Willis took to Facebook, writing that crime is out of control.

“It seems unpopular now to go ahead and say that, that this is unacceptable. But it is. It’s unacceptable and we must support our police,” Willis said.


She told Huddleston that cases that come to her desk, she will prosecute to the fullest.

“We have programs and things we can do for lower-level offenders, but it does not apply to people who are out here shooting and killing each other. There will be harsh consequences,” Willis said.

She also said something Atlanta’s police chief told Huddleston on Tuesday -- young people are committing most of the crime.

“They are breaking into cars at a record rate and the No. 1 thing they are pretty much taking is your gun,” Willis said.

And those guns are then used in violent crimes.

“Don’t leave your gun in your car,” Willis said.

She told Huddleston that a sad reality is, some parents can’t or don’t supervise their children and they end up facing her and a judge, where they will face harsh consequences.

“If they don’t have parental supervision, adult supervision, things are bound to go wrong and we are watching too much go wrong,” Willis said.

Willis said she wants people to get into the habit like at the airport, if you see something say something.

She also said we need more officers on the street and let’s stop pretending we don’t.

Atlanta’s police chief said he’s getting support from Fulton County’s Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the state patrol.