Gov. Kemp says crime is “most significant threat” to Georgia’s future, warns it will push businesses out

Gov. Kemp says crime is “most significant threat” to
Georgia’s future, warns it will push businesses out 1

COLUMBUS, GA – While speaking to the Georgia Chamber of Commerce earlier in August, Governor Brian Kemp told business leaders that crime is “the most significant threat” to the future of the state of Georgia.

On August 10th, Governor Kemp addressed business leaders from Georgia, highlighting on the issues that crime presents outside of obvious direct victimization:

“Simply put, if crime is rampant on the streets of your local community, businesses will look elsewhere, workforces will leave, visitors won’t show up, and investment will stop.”

While Governor Kemp has previously highlighted concerns of crime impacting the city of Atlanta, he acknowledged during the address at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce that rising levels of crime is “also a challenge facing many of our communities across Georgia.”

The Georgia governor urged for locals and business owners to become more communicative with law enforcement and officials, so that a strategy can be devised by all interested parties on tackling crime in the state:

“Talk to your sheriff and your police chiefs, talk to your local prosecutors, and talk to schools, churches, and community organizations.”

“Work with them to put forward new job training or mental health programs that deter people from lives of crime. And work with local elected leadership to appropriately fund law enforcement.”

Governor Kemp comments regarding crime fall in line with his recent efforts to prevent it himself, having recently committed back in July to spending $2 million from his emergency fund to reinforce spending on tracking down fugitives and stopping street racing in Atlanta.

Also, back in May, Governor Kemp signed into law a bill that aims to curb defunding of police in some of Georgia’s larger cities.

When discussing the legislation back on May 7th, Governor Kemp found that Democrats in the state advocating for police defunding poses a danger to the communities in Georgia:

“This far-left movement will endanger our communities and our law enforcement officers and leave our most vulnerable at risk.”

The law limits local governments’ ability to slash police funding by margins over 5% annually. Republican Rep. Houston Gaines, who sponsored the bill, said that while “local control” by governments is inherently good, measures need to be taken to ensure they don’t become “out of control”:

“Listen, I support local control, but when you have local governments that are out of control, I knew we had to act. While we’re fortunate these proposals [to defund police] didn’t pass the first time around, we can’t let it happen.”

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In other news related to crime in Georgia, we at Law Enforcement Today reported back in July about the arrest of a triple homicide suspect. 

Here’s that previous report. 


KENNESAW, GA – A 23-year-old man was arrested and charged with murder in connection with the triple homicide that took place at a golf course in Kennesaw back on July 3rd.

The suspect was reportedly also described as “up-and-coming rapper” that has nearly 19 thousand followers on Instagram.

On July 8th, authorities arrested 23-year-old Bryan “B Rod” Rhoden in Chamblee with the assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, according to a statement from the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials say that he’s been charged with three counts of murder, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of kidnapping in connection with the triple murder that took place at the Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw on July 3rd.

Reportedly, two of the victims killed that were discovered at the golf course, identified as 46-year-old Henry Valdez and 76-year-old Paul Pierson, had been kidnapped at a different location. Police say that Rhoden had bound their hands, legs, and mouths with tape before shooting them.

The third killing, authorities believe, happened when 46-year-old golf pro Eugene Siller happened to have stumbled upon Rhoden along the 10th hole at the course while witnessing “an active crime taking place”, according to officials:

“Detectives have learned that Mr. Siller happened upon a crime in progress involving the unknown suspect and the two deceased males who were found in the pickup truck. It does not appear Siller was in any way targeted, but rather was killed because he witnessed an active crime taking place.”

Investigators have not come forward with any information suggesting a motive in the killings and kidnappings, nor have they revealed what the connection is between the victims and the suspect in custody.

The only information that authorities have proclaimed with a degree of confidence is that they are positive that the suspect has no connection with the third victim, Siller.

What’s all the more interesting is that Rhoden was actually arrested hours after the July 3rd murders by the Chamblee Police Department, but on charges completely unrelated to the murders.

Chamblee Police were said to have taken Rhoden into custody on July 3rd for charges of DUI, driving a vehicle without insurance, false identification, and various other charges.

Police were also said to have noted finding a confiscating a sizeable amount of cash during that July 3rd arrest. 

Pictures from Rhoden’s Instagram account would often times show him flashing large bundles of money.

Rhoden reportedly bonded out of the DeKalb County Jail on those charges on July 6th – two days before he’d be arrested for the triple homicide.

Officials did not comment on whether Rhoden was a suspect for the triple murder at the time of him bailing out of the DeKalb County Jail for his July 3rd arrest.

Rhoden apparently has a history of arrests over the past five years.

Back in 2016, Rhoden was arrested for allegedly shooting a 19-year-old man during a drug deal at the parking lot of a residence hall at Georgia State University, where Rhoden was a student at GSU during the alleged incident.

Apparently, Rhoden was trying to sell the 19-year-old some drugs when he shot the man, identified as Shelton Flournoy II, three times and Flourney shot Rhoden once. Both survived the ordeal but were both potentially facing attempted murder charges.

However, the Fulton County district attorney’s office had decided to not proceed with prosecuting the case.

Rhoden also had two arrests in 2020, one in Georgia and one in Indiana. The Georgia arrest took place at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where Atlanta Police who were working off a tip of suspected drug activity seized over $19,000 in cash that Rhoden had on him. K9 units reportedly detected the smell of marijuana on the money.

Rhoden had allegedly punched a drug unit officer in the face while trying to evade arrest but was eventually apprehended. He reportedly forfeited the money, but no charges were ever filed in the incident.

The Indiana arrest was for Rhoden allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase, with speeds reaching as high as 150 miles per hour.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further details on this developing case.

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Back in April, we at Law Enforcement Today also shared a report about two brothers being apprehended following a shootout that nearly killed three officers in Georgia. 

Here’s that previous report. 


CARROLL COUNTY, GA – Earlier in April, we at Law Enforcement Today reported on an incident that occurred in Georgia that resulted in three officers from three separate law enforcement agencies getting non-fatally shot during a vehicular pursuit that ended in a standoff.

In an update to that report, officials have revealed the identities of the two suspects, one of which is deceased due to return fire from officers, allegedly involved in the April 12th incident.

Here are the updates regarding that investigation.

During the early morning hours of April 12th, Georgia State Patrol Captain Brandon Dawson says that a Nissan was spotted going approximately 111 mph on I-20 roughly about 10 miles away from the Alabama-Georgia State line.

Following an unsuccessful stop, a multi-agency pursuit ensued where the law enforcement officers from three separate agencies wound up being injured by gunfire allegedly coming from the suspects inside of the vehicle being pursued.

The three officers that were injured during this collective pursuit and standoff were identified as Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputy Jay Repetto, Villa Rica Police Officer Chase Gordy, and Carrollton Police Sergeant Rob Holloway.

Officials say that the firearm used by the suspects when allegedly firing upon officers was a rifle. 

As we had previously reported, following the pursuit and standoff with authorities, law enforcement officials stated that one suspect was killed, and another was taken into custody.

Authorities have since identified these suspects as being brothers from the Birmingham, Alabama area. The deceased suspect was identified as 28-year-old Pier Shelton.

As for the suspect that was taken into custody, he was identified as 22-year-old Aaron Shelton.

What is still unclear to investigators working the case is whether Aaron or Pier was the shooter involved, or if they were both shooting at pursuing officers during the chase from April 12th.

Nonetheless, Aaron Shelton was reportedly booked into the Carroll County jail under three counts of aggravated battery and five counts of aggravated assault.

With respect to the three officers injured during the incident, Carroll County Sheriff Terry Langley shared a hopeful viewpoint regarding the officers’ recoveries:

“We want to send our prayers out to all the families involved, to those officers that were shot and for their speedy recovery and that the doctors will do what they need to do to make sure they get the attention they need.”

“We’re thankful today that it could have been a lot worse, and we’re thankful and we pray for the speedy recovery of those officers.”

While the suspects’ vehicle was originally being pursued for the excessive speeding reportedly observed by authorities which then evolved into a full-blown pursuit, it’s unclear if there are any other factors that may have allegedly motivated the suspects to have opened fire on authorities.  

All officers injured during the incident are expected to fully recover from their sustained injuries.

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