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Atlanta Police beg people to put down their guns

The department has launched an initiative against gun violence as crime soars in the city.

ATLANTA — As Atlanta's homicide cases mount, the city's police are pleading with people not to resort to using gun violence to end conflicts.

The push by the department coming just hours after President Joe Biden announced new executive orders to address gun violence across the nation. The department is emphasizing that the push is not a political issue, but a public issue. 

“Instead of talking it out or walking away to live another day – they’re choosing to pick up a weapon and use it," said Chata Spikes, APD's Director of Public Affairs.

According to the department, 157 people were killed across the city in 2020, the most homicides Atlanta has seen in over two decades. According to data from the week of March 28, homicides were up by 59 percent from one year ago and aggravated assaults are also up by 45 percent.

“When someone dies, they’re not coming back," Spikes said. "We’re seeing too many families that are having to make funeral arrangements as a result of too many people choosing to use a gun."

Atlanta Police also said that they are continuing to ask the public to say something if they see something, and to call 911 or Crime Stoppers - at 404-577-8477 - with any tips.