BY JASON SHEPHERD
They go by street names like “Baby Active,” “No Good,” “Ant Loc”, “Active,” “Gooch,” Baby Vo,” and “Crash.”
One defendant resisted arrest at Osborne High School, striking two officers. His bookbag contained marijuana packaged for distribution. As he ran from officers on campus, fellow gang members picked him up in a vehicle.
Two defendants committed a drive-by shooting at three men on Westland Way in Marietta, damaging cars and other property.
Charges against them and others range from theft, disruption of a public school, attempted battery, simple assault, and criminal trespass to attempted murder, armed robbery, burglary, street gang terrorism, fraud, forgery, aggravated assault, home invasion, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and human trafficking.
This is not in in LA or New York or even downtown Atlanta. These crimes are happening in Smyrna, Marietta, Powder Springs, and throughout Cobb County. Arrests have been made in Austell, but also on Mars Hill Road.
Cobb County clearly has a gang crisis.
But Cobb County’s Democratic leaders like Cobb Democratic Party Chair Michael Owens call this “a manufactured gang crisis” and State Representative David Wilkinson, the Chair of the Cobb Legislative Delegation, who frankly should step down as Chair after his comments, accuse former Cobb DA, now GBI Director Vic Reynolds of being “too aggressive” in his approach towards gangs hoping the new DA will “use a different tactic.”
When the Marietta Daily Journal asked me about these comments on February 19, I told the Around Town editors that, “I find it highly disturbing that the first Democratic chairman of the Cobb Legislative Delegation in decades thinks that law enforcement should ‘pull back’ going after gangs operating in Cobb County and somehow the answer to gang violence and crimes is by giving Cobb County gangs some sort of break.”
Two days later State Representative Bert Reeves added to the conversation telling Around Town that he was “very troubled and disappointed” by Wilkinson’s and Owen’s comments. Reeves added, “Street gangs in Cobb operate with aggression and they wreak havoc and crisis on our community. They are highly insensitive in ways that destroy the lives of young people, and it is not the district attorney that is destroying those lives. They are destructive; they harm people: children, adults, and the elderly — without conscience and with no regard for circumstances. They do not feel remorse and they do not show compassion. They are indiscriminate. These criminals are threats to the fabric of our public safety. They must be stopped, and they must be punished.”
Does Buckhead/Vinings Democratic Senator Jen Jordan agree with David Wilkinson? What about State Representatives Erick Allen and Mary Frances Williams? They all supported Wilkinson for Cobb Delegation Chair and now have not said one word condemning Wilkinson’s soft on gangs approach!
Contact Cobb’s Democratic Delegation and demand to know if they stand with Owens or Wilkinson who wants a “more sensitive approach” to gangs, or do they stand with the victims of gang violence, including the underaged girls being trafficked in Cobb County by street gangs.
You can find their contact information below:
Rep. Teri Anulewicz (D-Smyrna) 404.656.0116 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Erick E. Allen (D-Smyrna) 678.310.9650 email@example.com
Rep. Mary Frances Williams (D-Marietta) 404.656.0287 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Erica Thomas (D-Austell) 404.656.7859 email@example.com
Rep. Michael Smith (D-Marietta) 404.656.0265 firstname.lastname@example.org Rep. Shelia Jones (D-Atlanta) 404.656.0132 email@example.com
Rep. Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta) 404.656.7859 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Jen Jordan (D-Atlanta) 404.656.6446 email@example.com
Sen. Doc Rhett (D-Marietta) 404.656.0054 firstname.lastname@example.org