Savannah Mayor asking local, federal prosecutors make gun violence cases a top priority

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 4:37 PM EDT|Updated: May. 10, 2022 at 6:16 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Deadly gun violence was yet again at the top of Savannah Mayor Van Johnson’s remarks during his weekly news briefing today at City Hall.

Mayor Johnson echoed remarks he made several weeks ago that people getting shot is not and will not be Savannah’s narrative, adding no one should ever die in the city because of guns.

Tuesday he Mayor also said he wants to see the court process for people accused of gun crimes to move faster.

Mayor Johnson shared his thoughts on some of the root causes of recent fatal shootings, saying tempers, not crime, are raging in the community.

Johnson said, “Tempers are raging in our community. And when tempers are raging, and a gun is introduced into the situation, you have violent acts of gun violence that are irreversible and changes lives forever.”

When considering the cause of rising gun violence here and across the country, the Mayor says he believes what people have gone through over the past two years is contributing people losing their tempers more quickly.

Mayor Johnson referenced the three fatal shootings from the weekend, ranging from a domestic violence situation to the death of a 15-year old girl in Yamacraw Village Friday night.

“It’s absolutely horrible, and absolutely unacceptable. Our children are supposed to bury us.”

Mayor Johnson said he’ll be asking federal and local prosecutors to make gun crimes their top priority.

“In my letter to them was, let us know how we can help. Anything we can help provide obviously to help move this along, we’ve helped before, using City facilities to help them do grand juries. Whatever we can do to help move the process along. And certainly, if we have police officers that are not showing up, or if they have issues, again, we want to be of help.”

On the topic of gun violence nationally, the CDC released today new data on gun violence in the U.S.

The agency said there was a nearly 35% increase in deadly shootings from 2019 to 2020.

It’s the highest rate in more than 25 years.

Nearly 5,000 more lives were lost to gun homicide in 2020 than in 2019.

Breaking the data down even further, the CDC reported the largest increases in those deadly shooting rates were among younger men who were Black and native American and were between the ages of 10 and 44 years-old.

One of their key findings was there was a larger increase in counties with more poverty.

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