Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms spoke out Wednesday after a shooting in the city left two people dead, claiming members of the public had responded by taking videos at the scene instead of calling 911.
Bottoms also claimed people were posting information about the crime on social media rather than alerting city police.
“Just a reminder to the public to please call 911,” Bottoms said during a news conference. “We did start receiving phone calls but social media received information, and has received more information, quite frankly, than we have received through our 911 center. So for us to be able to appropriately respond and assess, we just ask if you can put down your camera, put down your phone, call 911 and then allow us to do what we do.”
Bottoms, a Democrat who has said she won’t seek reelection, posted a Twitter message urging the public to share their videos and other information about the case with the police.
It was the latest incident in which witnesses were apparently more inclined to take out their phones and record an incident rather than alert authorities about a crime in progress.
Last week in the Philadelphia area, riders on a SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) train reportedly became video voyeurs instead of intervening in the alleged rape of a fellow passenger by an illegal immigrant – or seeking help from police.
The alleged crime wasn’t stopped until a transit officer intervened. The Pennsylvania case, in which the train reportedly traveled 27 stops before the suspect was arrested, made national headlines.
In Wednesday’s Atlanta incident, a man killed a woman inside a luxury high-rise apartment building in the city’s Midtown area around 3:30 a.m. The gunman later died in a shootout with police, FOX 5 of Atlanta reported.
That suspect, identified as Jarvis Jarrette, 32, started firing at responding police officers from a balcony on the 21st floor of the building, and continued firing inside and outside the building as he jumped from balcony to balcony, the station reported.
One police officer fired back at Jarrette during the incident, according to FOX 5.
When police entered the building, they found the unidentified woman, a resident of the building, dead inside her apartment, and found Jarrette dead on a balcony, the report said.
Atlanta police Chief Rodney Bryant confirmed the mayor’s comments that some witnesses had used their cameras at the scene.
“There were a number of people who called in but there were also a number of people who videotaped what was occurring,” Bryant told reports at the news conference. “And so we would like to have anyone that has any further information to don’t hesitate to give us a call as it relates to this information that we have.”
Philadelphia-area train incident
After last week’s incident on a Philadelphia-area commuter train, a police superintendent lashed out at fellow train riders after a woman was allegedly raped.
“There was a lot of people, in my opinion, that should have intervened,” police Supt. Timothy Bernhardt of the Upper Darby Police Department said. “It speaks to where we are in society. I mean, who would allow something like that to take place? So it’s troubling.”
The suspect arrested in the Pennsylvania case was identified as Fiston Ngoy, 35, a Congolese citizen with a criminal record whose student visa expired in 2015.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this story.