ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- A group of armed people set up an autonomous zone around the burned-out Wendy’s on University Avenue during the past week.
“We have to police our streets. ‘PTP’ police the police,” an organizer said.
#Developing: @Atlanta_Police respond to autonomous zone at @Wendys. “APD is monitoring the situation and plans to coordinate with community leaders and the Wendy’s property owner to address security issues and help preserve peace for this community as soon as possible.” @cbs46 pic.twitter.com/PLx7FmyFrD— Adam Murphy (@MurphyCBS46) June 24, 2020
The group took over the area after Rayshard Brooks got into a scuffle with police and was gunned down by an officer in the parking lot.
For the past few days armed people have blocked police and others from passing through the zone. CBS46 asked Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore if it was acceptable.
“Well of course it’s not acceptable for anybody to block off a public road and to determine who can use that road or not use that road,” Moore said.
Moore went on to say they have been working to clear the road and restore order using a phased approach.
“What I understand, there are various groups of people there because when I was there, they were arguing with each other which is when I left because you have armed people arguing with each other doesn’t turn into anything good,” Moore said.
Over the weekend, community activist George Chidi was attacked while visiting the area and said he feared for his life.
“They demanded my phone and I refused and one of them threatened to shoot me and then a couple others started throwing punches,” Chidi said.
Early Wednesday morning, Atlanta Police were able to clear the roadway, but it’s uncertain whether they will be able to continue to maintain order.
“I wouldn’t advise anyone who wants to go down there to do that during the evening at all,” Moore said.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms added, “The City removed obstructions from the property and right of way. We will continue to monitor the situation as we work with the appropriate stakeholders to maintain peace and order in the community.”
CBS46 reached out to Atlanta Police about the situation and they sent this statement saying, “APD is monitoring the situation and plans to coordinate with community leaders and the Wendy’s property owner to address security issues and help preserve peace for this community as soon as possible.”