Atlanta mayor tears up on air recounting warning her son not to play with toy guns

'You can’t play with cap guns… children get killed for that'

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms tears up recounting 'the talk' with 12 year old son

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms teared up during a TV segment in which she told how she had warned her young son not to play with toy guns.

In an interview with Axios on HBO concerning the national response to the killing of George Floyd, Mayor Bottoms said she discovered that her 12-year-old son had bought a cap gun without her knowledge.

Seeing him with it she had recalled the 2014 shooting of Tamir Rice. Tamir was fatally shot in a park in Cleveland, Ohio, by a police officer who saw him playing with a toy gun. He was 12 years old.

Mayor Bottoms was asked why previous deaths of African Americans at the hands of the police had not been enough for the country to demand change, when Tamir’s name was mentioned.

Explaining that her son had, unknown to her, accessed her Amazon account and purchased the toy, Ms Bottoms, a mother of four, became understandably emotional, her voice catching in her throat.

“I just saw my 12-year-old, who's running around the house with a cap gun, a black cap gun. And I thought about Tamir Rice,” Ms Bottoms said. “My son went into my Amazon account and he ordered it. And I didn't know he had ordered it.”

She continued, wiping away a tear: “You know, ‘the talk’ again, about… you can’t play with cap guns… children get killed for that.”

Mayor Bottoms wondered if in the same way she saw her son with the cap gun, “did Tamir’s mother know that perhaps he had ordered a cap gun on Amazon and was outside playing with it?”

Elected in 2018 as the city of Atlanta’s 60th mayor, Ms Bottoms has been lauded for her response to both the Covid-19 pandemic, and the protests and unrest in her city following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

She has walked in the streets with protesters, and chastised those that rioted, telling them that chaos is not protest, “protest has purpose”.

Ms Bottoms also condemned comments by Donald Trump for stoking racial tensions and “making it worse”. She has encouraged people to register to vote if they want change in America.

In June 2019, Mayor Bottoms endorsed former vice president Joe Biden for president and has been tipped as a possible running mate on the Democratic ticket by some observers.

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