There is an urgent call for more help along Southwest Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Junior Corridor after several violent crimes were committed just blocks away from several college universities and the Mercedes Benz Stadium.
“I just bought the McDonald’s down there, closed it down. I can’t do nothing with it right now because the crime is just so bad,” said Johnny Mims, president of the MLK Ashby Merchants Association.
“People are just running amuck in the community and it’s out of control,” said Mims.
Mims is referring to the increased crime of the past several months in the area.
In just over the past month, four people were injured at a Clark Atlanta homecoming party, a man was killed in an officer-involved shooting, a worker shot outside of KFC and just last week, a 16-year-old charged with involuntary manslaughter after a 21-year-old was killed at this Chick-Fil-A.
That’s just a snapshot of what’s been happening and the small business owners of the MLK-Ashby Merchants Association are fed up.
“I’m concerned about our children,” said business owner Shade’ Yvonne Jones.
Atlanta Police have added additional details and bicycle patrols and businesses have mounted more lights. And, the merchants have come up with a plan to pay for additional help.
“We should be able to hire foot beat cops off duty ourselves,” said Mims.
But these small businesses say they need help. They’ve turned to some of the larger businesses to help pitch in on the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed.
While they want more APD officers, the city says others need to do more.
“There’s MARTA, there’s Atlanta Public Schools PD, there’s the police department from the AUC. If everyone came to bear along this corridor, we would have a safer corridor,” said Atlanta City Councilmember Byron Amos.
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