Atlanta police plead for parents, community to step up follow string of juvenile violence

Where is the public outcry from parents and the community?

That's the question right now from Atlanta police after multiple teenagers were shot over the weekend.


The department said if juvenile violence is going to be fixed, it starts at home and expands to the village.

Atlanta police ripped into parents Tuesday in this lengthy statement following a Saturday night shooting in Downtown Atlanta across the street from Centennial Olympic Park.

APD said they cannot raise the city's children. 

In that statement, they said parents are responsible for rearing their children and the community must step up and do their part. 

The department said by the time they get involved, the damage is usually done.

"We gotta do more, we gotta take our youth back," Deputy Chief Timothy Peek said. 

Investigators said an argument Saturday turned into gunfire and left five teenagers hurt.

Two of the wounded teens then carjacked a driver at gunpoint and drove themselves to the hospital.

"There are a lot of different things taking place throughout the city that we can take our youth to. I say take and not drop off or tell them to go because once they're out of your eyesight then we're behind the eight-ball," Chief Peek detailed. 

APD said they're seeing too many young people committing crimes, and far too many of them with guns.

What their officers want to know right now is where are all the voices who care so much about broken kids and community safety, and where are the concerned parents and family members while these kids are running the streets late into the night?

"We need positive people doing the right thing to get programs together and not necessary come to the Atlanta Police Department. We need other entities to led in those arenas," the deputy chief said. 

However, some community activists feel the department's response to crime involving young people is scapegoating.

"It's counterproductive to ask where are the march, where is the outrage," community activist Derrick Boazman explained. "We are upset. We are as heartbroken." 

He believes it's easy to question why parents didn't do more.

Instead, he feels the question should focus on looking internally at the community and see where the disconnect stems from.

"What Atlanta Police Department ought to do is be honest about the gang problem where a lot of this stems from and come up with interdiction strategies," he explained. 

Either way, both sides agree it will take a village to get these young people back on the right path.

To see the department's full statement on crimes involving juveniles, click here.