Mayor extends curfew after more than 150 arrested in second night of Atlanta protests

Georgia National Guard troops line up on West Paces Ferry Road near the Governor’s Mansion in Buckhead May 30 as protesters begin to gather. (Courtesy of the Governor’s Office)

Atlanta will be under curfew for a second night after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced she would extend the lockdown in the wake of another night of violence and unrest in the city. The curfew will begin at 9 .p.m. on Sunday night and continue until  sunrise Monday.

Bottoms said she was extending the curfew after 157  arrests were made Saturday night. Once again, protesters vandalized buildings and smashed windows around Downtown, including the Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

Chief Erika Shields promised to lock up protesters if they did not obey curfew, and she made good on her word. By 1:30 a.m., APD reported they had dispersed the majority of the protesters.

Officers were once again pelted with bottles, firecrackers, and rocks, while one sustained a serious injury when he was struck by a protester riding an ATV. The incident occurred around 10:30 p.m. on Marietta at Spring street.  The officer sustained significant injuries to his legs and was transported to Grady Hospital in stable condition. The ATV rider was taken into custody.

Several arrests were made outside the Governor’s Mansion on West Paces Ferry Road as a crowd of protesters demonstrated and marched through nearby neighborhoods.

APD was supported by Georgia State Patrol officers and 1,500 members of the National Guard, who used Lenox Square’s parking lot as a staging area. After Friday night’s looting, arson, and vandalism, Buckhead was quiet on Saturday night.

Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statewide emergency declaration on Saturday night that will extend through next weekend. Kemp said law enforcement had received information about potential unrest across the state, including Athens, Savannah, and Macon. The emergency declaration activated 3,000 National Guard troops to respond to any incidents in the state.

Atlanta was just one of the cities rocked by protests and violence this weekend in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN. Floyd was killed by police on Memorial Day, One officer has now been charged with Floyd’s murder.

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