Georgia’s top prosecutor of human trafficking crimes took office last week at a promising time – both the job and three stringent laws were established July 1, indications of the state’s growing interest in combating a crime that’s drawing increased attention around the world.
By Guest Columnist JIMMY ETHEREDGE, senior managing director, Accenture – U.S. Southeast
Last summer, I joined more than 250 representatives from the private, public, faith, educational, advocacy, and civic sectors, who convened at Mercedes Benz Stadium and committed to support a three-year strategic plan to address the risk factors that accelerate human trafficking in Atlanta.
The sentencing in federal court this week of a former MARTA department administrator brings to a close a scheme in which two top transit officials and an associate defrauded MARTA of more than $500,000.
Even as the federal corruption investigation continues at Atlanta City Hall, the U.S. prosecutor in Atlanta is locking up other crooks – including bank robbers, scam artists who preyed on the elderly and a former medical examiner who doled out opioids in exchange for sex and romance.
“I can’t explain some of the decision-making,” Shields said. “There are a couple of judges that routinely let people go.”
The changes wrought by DNA research haven’t been recognized as quickly or appreciated as much as some other big scientific and technological advances of our time. Maybe that’s because its impact has been both vertical and horizontal.
Against the backdrop of recently reported cyberattacks involving the National Security Agency, stealing mail may seem passé. But the take was more than $1.7 in a mail theft scheme federal authorities dismantled at Atlanta’s airport.
The Atlanta Police Foundation celebrated raising $20 million for its most recent “Cutting Edge, Cutting Crime” campaign – far exceeding its initial goal of $12 million.
At the annual “Crime is Toast” breakfast Thursday morning, the chair of that campaign – Jeffrey Sprecher – made the announcement at the end of the event.
The Atlanta police major who on Thursday took charge of the precinct for Midtown and Downtown brings a strong political record that includes a suspension for saying he wanted to beat then Mayor Shirley Franklin in the head with a bat, and delivering the local police union support to Kasim Reed in the 2009 runoff election for mayor.
BALTIMORE – Once upon a time, Atlanta wanted to create the same kind of magic that enabled Baltimore to build a tourism destination around an aquarium. Those days seem long ago.
JaTawn Robinson is one of many parents fighting the cross-currents of modern culture as she rears her three young sons. Signs of the currents abound in metro Atlanta.
In her southwest Atlanta neighborhood, Robinson said, children learn from each other that it’s wrong to “snitch” on criminals.
This weekend in Buckhead, Macy’s Lenox Square is hosting the rapper Lil Wayne to promote a Trukfit clothing line. Wayne’s website depicts him smoking what the caption calls a “huge joint.” Wayne’s portrayal of gang culture – particularly the Bloods – prompted MTV and BET to ban from their airwaves the video he and the artist Game released in 2011.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was among the group of 18 mayors who met Tuesday at the White House with President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss strategies to reduce youth violence.
The meeting came as some in the nation are looking for ways to continue to the spirit of progress observed in the 50th commemoration, on Wednesday, of the March on Washington and its message of jobs, justice and freedom.
In Atlanta, city council President Ceasar Mitchell has urged those in the city, and nation, to join in the “Let Freedom Ring” celebration. At precisely 3 p.m., local time, bells and devices that sound like bells are set to ring across the globe, according to the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
Brandy Brown Rhodes and her siblings lost their police captain father to a dramatic execution-style hit in the driveway of his home in a southeastern suburb of Atlanta. They lost their mom more privately, when she died of a stroke. There have been other losses, too.
Last week, as a new police precinct next to South DeKalb Mall was dedicated to their dad—sheriff-elect Derwin Brown—Rhodes and her siblings talked about weathering a series of emotional hits, after the violent one that claimed their dad. Unlike most adult children who have lost a parent, the Brown children have spent a dozen years sorting out their dad’s legacy amid lingering questions about how he died, while processing the deaths of other family members.
“I think the hard part about it is coming to peace that both of my parents are gone and I have to look at this world differently now,” Rhodes, 34, said.