Things turned ugly during protests in downtown Atlanta where a police car was set on fire. Protestors gathered outside the CNN Center, but it is unclear how the fire was started. Here is a look at the police vehicle on fire during the demonstrations.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 30, 2020
Atlanta is just one of several cities where people are gathering to protest the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The CNN logo was spraypainted with graffiti and glasses were also broken at the main entrance of the CNN Center, per WSBTV Atlanta.
“I’m thinking I want to cry,” Andrew Young told WSBTV. “This was a good demonstration that went bad … in the last half hour it’s disintegrated.”
Two additional cars were set on fire a few blocks down from the CNN Center near the College Football Hall of Fame.
— Blayne Alexander (@ReporterBlayne) May 30, 2020
Protestors Began Shattering the Windows of Some Downtown Atlanta Businesses
Windows were shattered at several other downtown Atlanta businesses and some members of the protest began looting the establishments. Police buses were sent to the scene in downtown Atlanta.
Here is a look at additional photos of the police car and protests.
— AJC (@ajc) May 30, 2020
WSB TV’s Matt Johnson reported that the protests escalated after some members of the demonstrations began breaking the windows of downtown businesses including McCormick & Schmick’s. Johnson described the initial protests as peaceful prior to a few individuals beginning to break windows while the majority of people were observing the conflict.
More windows being destroyed downtown. pic.twitter.com/ArXyuH8Ez4
— Matt Johnson (@MattWSB) May 30, 2020
The Initial Demonstration Started Peacefully But Ended in Violence
The initial protest started as a peaceful demonstration but turned ugly as some people began defacing property. An Atlanta spokesperson released a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Officers have been subjected to water bottles, eggs and other items being thrown at them,” an Atlanta Police spokesperson explained. “However we remain hopeful this activity will cease and there will be no need for further arrests or clashes with protesters.”
The CNN Center is connected to the State Farm Arena where the Hawks play and is also near Mercedes-Benz Stadium the home of the Falcons. Here is a look at some of the police vehicles being vandalized by protestors.
Atlanta police cars are now being vandalized. pic.twitter.com/c2onPzeiHv
— Raisa Habersham (@newsworthy17) May 30, 2020
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms held a passionate press conference discussing the protests. Bottoms was joined by rappers T.I. along with Killer Mike who she asked to speak as well.
“This is not a protest,” Bottoms noted, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos. A protest has purpose. When Dr. King was assassinated, we didn’t do this to our city. So if you love this city, this city that’s had a legacy of black mayors and black police chiefs and people who care about this city, where more than 50 percent of the business owners in metro Atlanta are minority business owners. If you care about this city, then go home. And pray that somebody like Reverend Beasley will come and talk to you and give you some instructions on what a protest should look like and how you effectuate change in America.”
You can watch Bottoms’ full statement below.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says the violent demonstrations in Atlanta are “disgracing the life of George Floyd”: “When you burn down this city, you’re burning down our community. If you want change in America, go and register to vote.” https://t.co/N5oZfxvFs3 pic.twitter.com/us3whIQnqu
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 30, 2020