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After violent Atlanta weekend, 13 hours of public comment to city council mark local frustration

During a virtual Atlanta City Council Meeting, both councilmembers and members of the public had different ideas on how to address change.

ATLANTA — For several weeks, people living in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood have asked police for help controlling large parties that pop up there. 

During a virtual Atlanta City Council Meeting, both councilmembers and members of the public had different ideas on how to address change.

The city council president, Felicia Moore, announced there would be 13 and a half hours of public comment so they would delay hearing the agenda until Tuesday at 10 a.m.

The start of the City Council meeting was quiet, as members honored the people killed by gun violence over the weekend in Atlanta. 

"We're now going to go into a moment of silence," Moore said.  

The public comment section was anything but, with hundreds of people calling in to talk about the violence. 

"People are dying, people are being murdered," one person said. 

RELATED: There were 11 shootings in Atlanta during the July 4th weekend. Out of the 31 victims, 5 of them died.

The caller expressed support for the Rayshard Brooks bill, that would reallocate $73 million from the Atlanta Police budget to different community-based initiatives. There were a number of people who agreed. 

"There's no need to continue to give police millions of dollars without seeing change," another person said.

However, others spoke strongly in favor of APD, saying officers are doing the best they can to stem the violence under difficult circumstances. 

"Crime in Atlanta has gone through the roof," one person said. "This is insane if you think it's a good idea to defund the police. 

The public comment  will play continuously on the City of Atlanta website until 4 a.m. The city council will then reconvene Tuesday morning to vote on the bill that could change funding to the Atlanta Police Department. 

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