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Being the most wide open city in the country amid a pandemic has its drawbacks.

Atlanta residents are speaking out about the dramatic rise in crime caused by out-of-towners taking advantage of the freedom from lockdowns and the mask-free nightlife.

Residents say "they are over" the huge spike in crime and they are calling on Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the Atlanta Police Dept. to do something about it.

Since February, there has been a dramatic spike in major crimes, such as murders, rapes, robberies, burglaries, aggravated assaults, and carjackings in Atlanta.

Bottoms addressed the rising crime problem in a recent interview with Fox News.

The mayor blamed police brutality, unemployment and Covid-19 for the uptick in violence on her pristine streets.

"I think it's just this perfect storm of distress in America," she said.

"I think that the people are obviously anxious, and even angry about Covid-19. Loved ones are dying. People are losing their jobs. I think there's a lot of frustration, a lot of angst."
 

Prince Williams/Wireimage

Rapper Meek Mill (right) is speaking out about the escalating gang war on Atlanta's streets between factions led by rappers Quando Rondo and Lil Durk (pictured left).

Chicago rapper King Von, 26, was fatally shot by Rondo's crew member Timothy Leeks, 22, during a fistfight between Von and Rondo in Atlanta on Nov. 6.

Word on the street is Lil Durk's crew is gunning for Rondo, 21, who they believe is personally responsible for Von's death.

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Durk, 28, reportedly bought every table at a nightclub where Rondo (pictured) was scheduled to perform this week. The club promoter canceled the show.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Meek, who is friends with Lil Durk, urged other rappers to "pick a side" rather than commenting on Von's death.

Meek tweeted: "Pretty soon everybody gone have to pick a side .... too much real sh*t going on too be cool wit everybody! [sic]"

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Meek's message likely means more blood will be shed on Atlanta's pristine streets.

Hopefully, the mayor's office is monitoring the situation on social media before innocent lives are lost in Atlanta, which is now dubbed Chiraq South.
 

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The Internet reacted with outrage after someone leaked grisly photos of slain rapper King Von laying on an autopsy table.

Von, real name Dayvon Bennett, was shot by a member of Savannah rapper Quando Rondo's crew during a fistfight outside a hookah lounge in downtown Atlanta early Friday.

The 26-year-old gangster-turned rapper later died during surgery at Grady Hospital. The pictures were likely taken after his body was taken to the morgue across the street from Grady Hospital, where autopsies are conducted.

The alleged autopsy images were originally uploaded to Instagram by user @fyndeeboyy who quickly deleted the pictures. But the graphic images circulating on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

It's tradition for Chicago gang members to post autopsy or open casket photos of deceased "opps" (opposition or gang rivals) to disrespect them even in death.

One King Von fan responded to the images circulating on Reddit.com:

"That sh*t is sick. Imagining [sic] people messing and taking pictures of your lifeless body when you die. If this happened to king von imagine how many pictures probably get taken and never get leaked."

Others were not so polite. Gang members affiliated with O-block, a notorious city block in Chicago, took to Instagram and TikTok to voice their anger and frustration over the photos (see below).

But that's not all they're mad about.

King Von's sister, Kayla B. clapped back at rap mogul Tip "T.I." Harris he shared an Instagram post asking out-of-towners to kill each other on their own home turfs.

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T.I.'s post also sparked outrage among different Chicago gang factions -- some of whom have booked flights to Atlanta. Below is an alleged veiled threat to T.I.

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Hopefully, Atlanta's mayor's office is monitoring the situation on social media. Atlanta's streets are about to become a bloodbath.
 

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A shootout at Atlanta's Cheetah Lounge gentlemen's club sent patrons running for their lives in Midtown Atlanta over the weekend.

The strip club, located at 887 Spring Street, was the scene of a wild shootout just before the club closed at 2 a.m.

The video footage shows a Black male pointing a gun at someone off camera and shouting expletives. Two women with him attempt to deescalate the drama.

In a matter of seconds, the sound of gunshots sent club patrons ducking and running for their lives.

There are no reports of injuries.

Cheetah Lounge was the favored stomping grounds of the monied set because of the great customer service, the very cordial dancers, and the excellent food.

But due to a change in management over the years, the suited and booted professionals were replaced by a younger crowd of drug boys and rappers who started frequenting the club.

Security at Cheetah used to be top notch, but the club is under contract to be sold to a developer for $30 million and is set to be torn down to make way for commercial development.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Frank Ski called in to Atlanta's V-103 morning show on Wednesday to confirm the news that he is moving on from the radio station.

Sandrarose.com broke the news late Tuesday that Ski, real name Frank Rodriguez, was leaving the morning show to host mornings at WHUR in D.C.

According to my credible source, Ski will return to the Atlanta market in 6 months after his non-compete clause ends. He will then host mornings at V-103 competitor Kiss 104.1.

Longtime Atlanta radio personality Art Terrell currently hosts the morning show at Kiss 104.1.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Frank Ski is pictured with his wife, Dr. Patrice Basanta-Henry, and his sons (L-R) Blake Rodriguez, Franklin Rodriguez and Harrison Rodriguez at the 2019 Frank Ski Celebrity Wine Tasting & Live Auction at Republic Lounge on April 14, 2019 in Atlanta.

Big Tigger and Drake

Ski's V-103 morning show slot will be filled by Darian "Big Tigger" Morgan, left with Drake at Atlanta's defunct Club Reign in 2013. Tigger currently hosts the 2-6 PM slot at V-103.

Tigger also called in to the morning show on Wednesday morning to confirm the news that he is taking over as morning show host on August 17.

Prince Williams/ATLPics.Net

Lifestyle specialist and former Bad Boy Records exec Kenny Burns, pictured with singer Ella Mai, will fill Tigger's midday slot.

Longtime Atlanta radio personality Ramona Debreaux will take over for Tigger at midday.

V-103 station manager Rick Caffey had nothing but praise for Big Tigger, who previously hosted BET's 106 & Park.

"During his time with us at V-103, I have seen Big Tigger take over Atlanta as a premier talent and generous community activist who is connected to the people. We believe he will bring his high energy and creativity to mornings at the station," Caffey said in a statement.

"Just as important, we see Kenny Burns bringing his added years of experience, industry work, and current show success to the station, and we're excited to welcome him back."

Prince Williams/Wireimage

Rapper Lil Marlo is among 5 killed in Atlanta shootings over the weekend. Lil Marlo, real name Rudolph Johnson, was fatally shot on I-285 in downtown Atlanta late Saturday night.

Police said the shooting was a targeted hit. "At this time, investigators believe the victim was the intended target of the gunfire and they are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the shooting."

According to TMZ, police respond to a call of a single-vehicle accident around 11:30 p.m. and found the 30-year-old rapper suffering from a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Prince Williams/Wireimage

Lil Marlo signed to Quality Control Records in 2017. He is pictured with label co-founder Pee Thomas (right). The independent label's acts include Cardi B, Lil Baby, Trippie Redd, Migos, City Girls, and Lil Yachty.

Lil Yachty at Big Bank Black 'No Cap' Party at Gold Room

Prince Williams/ATLPics.net

Label mate Lil Yachty confirmed the rapper's death on Sunday. "We just did a song a 4 this morning smh rip brother," he wrote on Instagram.

Marlo was among 5 people fatally shot in Atlanta over the weekend. 11 people were wounded in separate shootings in the Atlanta area.

Lil Marlo's death follows a violent 4th of July weekend that left 5 people dead and more than two dozen wounded in Atlanta.

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Facebook.com

Atlanta police released video of a person of interest in the shooting death of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner on Saturday.

Video footage shows a Black male wearing a white v-neck t-shirt and dark jeans and carrying an AR-15 automatic rifle. The rifle is equipped with a tan bump stock and tan grip.

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Instagram.com, Atlanta PD

"I'm confident that somebody knows the name of this man, and with a simple phone call an individual could earn a $20,000 reward being offered through Atlanta CrimeStoppers," Lieutenant Pete Malecki said on Tuesday.
 

Malecki said the suspect is one of three males wanted in connection with Secoriea's murder.

Secoriea was riding in a car with her mother and a male friend on June 12 when she was shot and killed by BLM activists guarding the burned out Wendy's restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was killed by police in Southwest Atlanta.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms lashed out at Secoriea's killer on Sunday night.

"You cant blame this on a police officer. You can't say this about criminal justice reform," Bottoms said. "This is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an 8-year-old baby in the car for what?!?

"Enough is enough," Bottoms continued. "If you want people to take us seriously and you don't want us to lose this movement, we can't lose each other."
 

Copyright Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to the photograph(s) used in this post. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" of photographs for purposes such as parody, criticism, commentary, news reporting, education, and research.

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Instagram.com

31 people were shot and 5 killed in Atlanta over the weekend, including 8-year-old Secoreia Turner.

Secoriea was riding in a car with her mother and a male friend when she was shot and killed by BLM activists guarding the burned out shell of a Wendy's restaurant in Southwest Atlanta on Saturday.

Rapper Tip "T.I." Harris thinks he knows who's responsible for the bloodshed on Atlanta's streets.

T.I. sparked controversy on Sunday with an Instagram post that seemed to suggest the Atlanta police were randomly shooting people and blaming Black Lives Matter activists.

The rapper, who fancies himself to be the modern day Malcolm X, posted a photo of an Atlanta police cruiser under the headline "4 killed, 22 people injured in 6 different shootings on 4th of July weekend, police say."

He captioned the post: "Think it's a game if u want to...."

The diminutive hip-hop star was criticized for his post. One IG usr wrote:

"Yeah it was the police that shot a 8yr old child... secoriea turner...man @troubleman31 get yo expoditously self out of here ...half them was caused by yo own people...cops may be killing yall and us other minorities( cause we havent been there).. but yo own kind is the reall kkk...blacks kills themselves off more than the kkk has every tried to in this current times." [sic]

 

View this post on Instagram

Think it's a game if u want to....

A post shared by TIP (@troubleman31) on

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Atlanta Fire Department

The reward for female arsonists who torched a Wendy's restaurant in Atlanta has been increased to $20,000.

The restaurant was destroyed, leaving about a dozen Wendy's employees jobless.

Atlanta fire officials released images from a surveillance video that shows a woman, who appears to be Caucasian, wearing a black miniskirt with a purple cardigan wrapped around her waist.

The same woman was caught on cellphone video pouring an accelerant inside the Wendy's restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was gunned down by a former Atlanta police officer on June 12.

Brooks, 27, died from 2 gunshot wounds to the back, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office.

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Atlanta Fire Department

Police are also searching for another Caucasian woman who was pictured holding a can of accelerant outside the Wendy's restaurant as it was fully engulfed in flames.

Caucasian firebugs have caused millions of dollars worth of damage to property during protests -- while blaming the property damage on Black Lives Matter protesters.
 

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Getty Images, Facebook

Rayshard Brooks, the 27-year-old Black man who was shot by an Atlanta police officer, died from 2 gunshot wounds to the back, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office.

Brooks was gunned down in a Wendy's parking lot while fleeing from police late Friday night.

The incident began when police responded to a report that a man was asleep in a car in the Wendy's drive-thru lane. His car was blocking other cars in the drive-thru lane.

Police body cam video shows Brooks having a polite conversation with one of the officers. After failing a field sobriety test, he asked if he could park his car and walk to his sister's house a short distance away, but his request was denied.

Police attempted to cuff Brooks but he resisted and a struggle ensued between the three men.

Brooks was able to wrest a taser away from one of the cops and flee on foot. Surveillance video shows Brooks turning and pointing the taser at a pursuing officer who then fired three shots, killing Brooks.

The officer who fired his weapon was fired on Saturday after officials viewed the boy cam footage and determined the use of deadly force was not justifiable.

His partner was assigned to desk duty while the investigation into the officer-involved shooting continues.

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned and her resignation was accepted by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Saturday.

Protesters demonstrated peacefully outside the Wendy's restaurant on Saturday. But paid agitators in the crowd burned the restaurant to the ground overnight Sunday.

The Atlanta Police Dept. is offering a $10,000 reward for the capture of a Caucasian woman who allegedly set the blaze that torched the restaurant.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard released a statement on Sunday:

"Today, members of my staff had the unfortunate duty of witnessing the autopsy of Mr. Brooks as part of our continued investigation.

Because this is a homicide investigation, there are several technical requirements that must be met before we are able to reach a decision. That includes the confirmation of the ballistics involved and obtaining a preliminary report from the Medical Examiner,” according to the DA’s statement."

So far, no arrests have been made in the murder of Mr. Brooks.
 

 

 

 

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Atlanta PD

Two former Atlanta police officers who were terminated for tasing a couple of college students have filed lawsuits against Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields.

Mark Gardner and Ivory Streeter filed lawsuits through their attorney on Monday, alleging their rights were violated and they were fired in violation of the city's code; without investigation, proper notice or a pre-disciplinary hearing, according to ABC News.

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theGrio.com

Gardner and Streeter were caught on viral video dragging 20-year-old Taniyah Pilgrim and 22-year-old Messiah Young out of their car and tasing them during the Atlanta riots.

The police pursued the students as they were driving home from the George Floyd protests after a citywide curfew - but the students said they had no idea that a 9 p.m. curfew was in effect.

Gardner and Streeter were charged with aggravated assault for tasing the students when they committed no crimes.

The fired officers want their jobs reinstated, as well as back pay and benefits and an apology from the mayor.
 

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Facebook

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin shows anger and a lack of remorse in his mugshot released hours after he was arrested and charged in George Floyd's death.

Floyd, 46, died Monday after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes following his an arrest for passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store.

Viral video showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck as he begged for air and bystanders pleaded with him to stop.

Chauvin, 44, was charged Friday with 3rd degree murder and manslaughter on day 4 of rioting and looting in south Minneapolis.

The charges carry a sentence of no more than 25 years or a fine of no more than $40,000, or both.

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Despite Chauvin's arrest, violent protests spread to cities in California, New York, Maryland, and Georgia.

Rioters destroyed CNN's headquarters in downtown Atlanta, breaking glass, throwing bottles and setting a police car on fire outside the building.

Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Police in riot gear clashed with rioters inside the CNN building as protesters destroyed the interior.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms angrily addressed the rioters at a press conference Friday night.

"You have defaced the CNN building. Ted Turner started CNN in Atlanta, 40 years ago because he believed in who we are as a city," she said. "If you care about this city, then go home!"

Protesters said the riots will continue until three other officers who were at the scene of Floyd's murder are arrested.

Rapper and entrepreneur Killer Mike rebuked CNN for inciting riots with their news coverage.

"I love CNN — but karma's a mother... Stop feeding fear & anger everyday," he said.

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Former actress Maia Campbell was among 44 people arrested during a drag racing crackdown in Atlanta on Saturday.

Recently, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms promised to allow drag racing on a designated block in the city. The sport has exploded in popularity in recent years.

But police say drag racing has become a problem since the coronavirus pandemic. And the mayor walked back her promise to allow illegal street racing.

Police issued 114 citations and impounded 29 vehicles. Four firearms were seized, including a semi-automatic rifle.

Campbell, 43, is best known for starring as Tiffany alongside LL Cool J in the hit TV sitcom "In the House."

Campbell battled drug addictions over the years. She supported herself financially by selling her body on street corners.

LL Cool J tried to reach out to his former co-star after she went viral while hustling for change at a gas station in 2017. But she replied, "Don't call me, I'll call you."

"You can't help someone who doesn't want your help," LL wrote on Twitter.

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms reacted with disappointment to video and images showing crowds of people -- many without face masks -- celebrating Cinco de Mayo on Tuesday.

Hundreds of Atlanta residents watched the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds perform an air show over Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta on Saturday, May 2.

In an interview on CNN's New Day, Mayor Bottoms said: "It was disappointing, and what was very clear was that people didn't get anything past the message that we were open up for business. They didn't get to the part that said that this is still a deadly virus and that you need to continue to socially distance and wear masks."

She added: "We're not out of the woods."

Bottoms and other Democrats say the state is reopening too soon.

The mayor warned that a "hotspot" in the northeastern part of the state is "rapidly" growing.

But her words fell on deaf ears.

Gov. Brian Kemp lifted Georgia's lockdown restriction on Friday, allowing clothing stores, hair salons and restaurants to reopen with strict guidelines in place.

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms lashed out at Black businesses that reopened after Gov. Brian Kemp lifted restrictions last week.

The mother of four criticized Kemp for lifting restrictions too soon and she urged residents, particularly Black people, to stay indoors and avoid patronizing hair and nail salons.

The mayor lashed out at people who stood in line at Greenbriar Mall in southwest Atlanta to buy a pair of Air Jordans at a Black-owned shoe store on Saturday.

On Monday, Bottoms tweeted:

"For those who crowded at Greenbriar awaiting the new Jordans, gathered at Piedmont Pk, shot fireworks at the Mall West End & even those now shopping at Lennox Square Mall, know that the only thing that’s changed about Covid-19 is your chance of catching."

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In an op-ed for Breitbart News, political commentator and writer Rob Smith questioned the motive behind Mayor Bottoms' fear mongering.

"Mayor Bottoms will tell you that coronavirus fears are behind her warnings, but Georgia’s COVID-19 numbers lag far behind the rest of the country in terms of infections and deaths," he wrote.

Smith compared Atlanta's Covid-19 deaths, about 1,250, to the death toll in New York state, over 19,000 deaths, and concluded that Mayor Bottoms is over exaggerating when she claims reopening Atlanta would be "deadly".

"Mayor Bottoms says that beginning the path to reopening Georgia is 'deadly.' Yet while it is true that African Americans are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, it is also true that the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus are among older Americans with pre-existing health conditions."

Smith suggests Mayor Bottoms is willing to sacrifice Black businesses to ensure the Democratic party's chances of winning in November.

He accused Bottoms of attacking the "African American voter base" with "misinformation and conspiracy theories," that are "counterproductive to keeping Atlanta's citizens healthy in every way, including economically."

"Telling a young and healthy small business owner to wait until his or her business is fully destroyed with no chance of coming back because the "science" says so is the kind of messaging that will continue to hurt American citizens of all colors. Moreover, business owners should be given the opportunity to make decisions about their own businesses."

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Twitter.com/@CharlieGileNBC

Some things are more important than buying essentials, such as food with a $1,200 stimulus check.

On the first day after the coronavirus lockdown was lifted in Georgia, an estimated 300 people lined up outside a shoe store in Atlanta to be the first to purchase a pair of Air Jordans.

Shoppers formed 2 lines outside the store in southwest Atlanta to buy the new Air Jordan 5 "Fire Red" sneakers. Some wore face masks, according to 11Alive News.

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Teenagers and adults stood patiently in line outside Jimmy Jazz's shoe store at Greenbriar Mall, according to NBC producer Charlie Gile.

"Here's what it looked like as Jimmy Jazz's doors opened at Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta. Everyone I talked to was in line for a new Air Jordan 5 that sold out online," Gile tweeted on Saturday.

Atlantans took advantage of the warm weather to sunbathe in parks and at Lake Lanier's man-made beach north of Atlanta. Others gathered at Piedmont Park in midtown to watch the famous U.S. Air Force Thunder Birds and Navy's Blue Angels put on an air show overhead.

Few people in the crowd complied with the coronavirus social distancing guidelines.

Gov. Brian Kemp, who lifted the lockdown restrictions on Friday, urged the crowds to maintain a safe distance.

"Stay at least six feet from other people, do not gather in groups, stay out of crowded places, and avoid mass gatherings," a press statement from Kemp's office said.

Photo by Linka A Odom/Getty Images

The line queued down the block outside one Atlanta barbershop on the first official day of Georgia's reopening.

Friday, April 24, was the first phase of Gov. Brian Kemp's plan to reopen Georgia. On Monday, Kemp announced that local establishments could reopen for business following a one month lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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Graphic: WSB-TV

Customers waited in line after 7 a.m. outside Peachtree Battle Barber Shop in Atlanta's upscale Buckhead neighborhood.

Matt Maddox was one of the customers waiting in line to get his hair cut amid the fear and uncertainty.

"I certainly don't want to spread it to anyone so I've got a mask, but I'm not really concerned," Maddox told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "If you're cutting hair or you're a waiter, you haven't been working, so it helps get the economy started again."

At Studio 151 in Dallas, Georgia, the first appointment was at 6:20 a.m., according to the salon's owner.

Stephen Richardson's salon in Dallas, Ga, started losing business the week of March 10, according to the AJC.com. By March 26, he was ordered to shut his doors because he wasn't an essential business.

"I went from 100% to zero," Richardson told the AJC. He said he had to comply with a 14-page list of safety guidelines issued by the state. He added some of his own to keep his customers safe.

"We have our very own concerns, but we need our clients," he said. His protocols include one client at a time and temperature checks at the door.

By noon Friday, Richardson and another stylist were seeing a steady stream of clients.

"People are pretty much getting in and out," Richardson said. "I give the clients credit. Every client that has shown up has had a mask."

Barber shops and hair salons were grateful to do brisk business after a month of no revenue. But Some businesses were so devastated by the coronavirus lockdown that they will never recover.

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms angered residents who want the city reopened to stimulate the local economy.

The Mayor tweeted a text message from someone who called her a racial slur on Wednesday.

"With my daughter looking over my shoulder, I received this message on my phone."

The text message included the n-word and said, "just shut up and RE-OPEN ATLANTA."

The Mayor's supporters rushed to defend her. "I'm so sorry for this hatred and malevolence. But I'm grateful that your leadership is saving lives," one follower tweeted.

Bottoms defied Governor Brian Kemp who ordered some businesses in the state to reopen on Friday, April 24.

The governor's order will allow gyms, bowling alleys, hair salons and some other indoor facilities to resume operations by Friday if they comply with social distancing requirements.

Mayor Bottoms, who was caught off guard by Kemp's announcement, told MSNBC's "MTP Daily" on Tuesday that she is aware that her powers don't supersede Kemp's as governor.

"But I do have the power of my voice," the Democratic mayor said. "And I am using my voice to encourage people: Follow the data, look at the science, listen to the health care professionals and use your common sense."

Mayor Bottoms voiced her opposition to Gov. Kemp on numerous news programs including CNN, MSNBC, and radio shows.

During an interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd, the Mayor criticized Kemp for reopening the state too soon.

Thanks to the Mayor's personal stylist, her hair was coiffed to perfection. But she had a message for less fortunate women who haven't seen the inside of a hair salon in over a month: "Stay home."

"We need to, as government leaders, step up and give people an incentive to stay home," Bottoms told Todd. "But there's nothing essential about going to a [hair salon] in the middle of a pandemic."

Kemp defended his decision to jumpstart the economy in Georgia and allow people to return to work.

"If people don't want to open the gym, they don't have to. But when you close somebody's business down and take their livelihoods ... I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt."