Georgia ‘Sanctuary’ Mayor Cites Trump In Finding Blame For Death Of Nurse

In what’s become a controversial issue, Athens-Clarke County, Georgia Mayor Kelly Girtz (Democrat) has come under severe criticism following a recent community address concerning the tragic demise of Laken Riley, a local resident.

Laken Hope Riley fell victim to a brutal attack and lost her life on the University of Georgia campus. Subsequently, law enforcement apprehended 26-year-old Venezuelan migrant, Jose Antonio Ibarra, charging him with both murder and aggravated assault. Officials stated that Ibarra had been living in Athens after illegally entering the United States.

Mayor Girtz, seemingly deflecting from the topic during a press briefing, asserted that this vicious incident was unrelated to the issues of illegal immigration, instead casting aspersions on former President Donald Trump by accusing him of harshness towards undocumented immigrants.

“I want to say that we center our work here in Athens-Clarke County on people’s humanity and part of everybody’s humanity is the expectation of human dignity. While 2019 was not that long ago, you might remember the dynamic we were living in in the late teens in this country where you had the president of the United States speak in the most vile terms about people who were foreign born and you had that notion metastasizing —” he said, claiming there is “no connection” between the crime and migrant policies.

This remark drew the ire of attendees, who quickly voiced their concerns about the endangerment their community faces by the potential establishment of a ‘sanctuary city.’ Voices were raised and tensions escalated as placards with “Justice for Laken” and “Blood On Your Hands” were prominently displayed by demonstrators. They did not hold back their frustration, openly reprimanding Mayor Girtz with chants of “You’re a liar” and accusations of him having “blood on your hands.”

In the midst of the outcry for justice and accountability, Mayor Girtz remained steadfast in his defense during the Wednesday briefing. He attributed the intensifying scrutiny to the influence of Trump’s rhetoric during his administration, stating, “We center our work here in Athens-Clarke County on the humanity of individuals and the inherent right to be treated with dignity.” He continued to disassociate the crime from local immigrant policy, despite strong community sentiments tying safety concerns to the city’s reopening approach.

Critics argue that Mayor Girtz’s comments represent a broader reluctance within his administration to acknowledge the direct impact that unfettered immigration might have on public safety.