Gov. Brian Kemp is addressing a joint session of the Georgia Assembly Wednesday morning. In his speech, he singled out former Clayton County Assistant District Attorney John Fowler, who now heads Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr’s Prosecution Unit.

“Early in my first term, we created the GBI’s Anti-Gang Task Force to take the fight to these criminals,” Kemp said. “And last year, you gave the state a new tool to ensure justice – the Gang Prosecution Unit in the Office of Attorney General Chris Carr.

“I’m grateful that the Attorney General and his team have already indicted over fifty gang members in just the first six months of standing up this Unit, with more on the way!

“Where local District Attorneys are unwilling to confront these violent offenders, the Gang Prosecution Unit is more than capable and willing to step in.

“Today, the Attorney General is joined by the head of his Prosecution Division, John Fowler; the head of the Gang Prosecution Unit, Cara Convery; and the head of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, Hannah Palmquist. Would you four please stand and let us thank you?”

Kemp said that gangs are recruiting elementary school children, “targeting the most innocent among us, pulling them down a dark path that too often leads to either a prison cell or the cemetery. That is why, along with the Attorney General, I’m proposing legislation that will increase penalties for those trying to recruit our children into a gang. Let me be clear: come after our children, and we will come after you.”

Kemp also talked about the Georgia State Patrol trooper who the Georgia Bureau of Investigation says was shot by a protestor last week while police removed trespassers from the forest off Moreland Avenue just north of Clayton County. The alleged shooter, known as Tortuguita, was shot and killed.

A group of loosely-associated demonstrators from around the country has been camping out at the future site of what they call “Cop City”—a planned law enforcement training center to replace the existing one near the main post office in Hapeville. The new training center would wipe out the last large stand of forest in metro Atlanta.

Anarchist collectives in Atlanta and around the U.S. have engaged in property damage to protest the shooting.

On social media, Kemp has pointed out that all but one protestor from Decatur had come from out of state.

Kemp also praised the courts that either gave no or high bond to those arrested in the protest.

“That is why in Georgia, we will always back the blue,” Kemp said.

The chamber stood and cheered.

Kemp announced $52 million for the Georgia Pathways Program in healthcare, saying his version was better than federal healthcare and that he was not going to “wait on Washington” for a solution.

Georgia has left millions of federal healthcare money on the table in recent years.

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Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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