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Local agencies pull officers from protest security

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Local agencies pull officers from protest security
Atlanta Protest Held In Response To Police Custody Death Of Minneapolis Man George Floyd

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 30: A police line is seen during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd on May 30, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Across the country, protests have erupted following the recent death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the most recent in a series of deaths of black Americans by the police. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- After four days of protests and demonstrations across Atlanta, the city watched and waited to see if more demonstrations would be on tap.

The city saw both peaceful protests/demonstrations and also some lawlessness over the weekend and into this week. Monday, peaceful protests seemed to rule the day as almost everyone was off the streets as a 9 p.m. curfew was once again put in place.

Over the weekend, tear gas was deployed as officers, SWAT, and national guardsmen clashed with protesters and demonstrators. Friday night was the worst for the city and by Saturday night, police and national guard troops took back control of the city aided by a 9 p.m. curfew.

CBS46 will be updating this blog throughout the day with the very latest information as it becomes available.

JUNE 3:

7 a.m. President Donald Trump said he is seeking a new state to host this summer’s Republican National Convention after North Carolina refused to guarantee the event could be held in Charlotte without restrictions because of ongoing concerns over the coronavirus. The Republican governors of states including Tennessee, Florida and Georgia had said they would be interested in hosting if North Carolina fell through. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said GOP officials were coming to scout Nashville on Thursday and called the city “the best place in America to have a convention.” Georgia Gov. Brian P. Kemp responded to Trump's announcement by tweeting, “Hope you have Georgia on your mind, @realDonaldTrump!” One RNC official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said that while Trump won’t accept renomination in Charlotte, other convention business may still be conducted there.

6 a.m. Protests were largely peaceful and the nation's streets were calmer than they have been in days since the killing of George Floyd set off demonstrations that at times brought violence and destruction along with pleas to stop police brutality and injustice against African Americans. There were scattered reports of looting in New York City overnight, and as of Wednesday morning there had been over 9,000 arrests nationwide since the unrest began following Floyd's death May 25 in Minneapolis. But there was a marked quiet compared with the unrest of the past few nights, which included fires and shootings in some cities. The calmer night came as many cities intensified their curfews, with authorities in New York and Washington ordering people off streets while it was still daylight.

5 a.m. Governor Brian Kemp warned that he would “do whatever is necessary” to prevent more violence following protests over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, but he ruled out calling up more National Guard troops or law enforcement officials for now. Gov. Brian Kemp said he understood why people were upset, citing the coronavirus pandemic and “sky high” unemployment in addition to Floyd's death. But he condemned the widespread vandalism and looting that broke out in Atlanta after a peaceful demonstration on Friday. Kemp has authorized up to 3,000 National Guard troops to be deployed to cities across the state, and sent state police to reinforce law enforcement in Atlanta. The city has been calmer since the weekend, with only sporadic violence. Late Tuesday, hundreds of protesters lingered on the streets of downtown Atlanta ahead of another 9 p.m. curfew imposed by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Authorities used armored vehicles to form a cordon at the state Capitol nearby.

4 a.m. An internal Atlanta Police Department memo obtained by CBS46 reporter Jamie Kennedy reveals multiple police agencies are pulling out assisting APD officers keep the peace during the protests, which at times have become very violent. The reason for pulling out, in the memo Chief Erika Shields says as a result of the four other officers charged over the incident involving college students Messiah Young and Taniyah Pilgram being tased, agencies don't want to risk their officers potentially being charged for criminal offences.

"Now that the charges have been announced, I’m very concerned with the space we find ourselves in, both tactically and emotionally. Multiple agencies that were assisting us in managing this incredibly volatile time have pulled out, effective immediately. They are not comfortable with their employees being leveraged politically by the potential of also facing criminal charges." - Chief Erika Shields

JUNE 2:

11:56 p.m. Atlanta Police say a total of 52 people were arrested during Tuesdays demonstrations.

11 p.m. The fallout from six Atlanta officers being charged for using excessive force against college students has cost the city a sense of protection. Local agencies who volunteered officers to assist with keeping the peace have opted to withdraw their men and women in uniform.

In a memo obtained by CBS46, APD Chief Erika Shields said, "Multiple agencies that were assisting us in managing this incredibly volatile time have pulled out, effective immediately. They are not comfortable with their employees being leveraged politically by the potential of also facing criminal charges."

9 p.m. For the fourth day Atlanta is under a 9 p.m. curfew.

8 p.m. Councilman Antonio Brown implores protesters to abide by 9 p.m. curfew.

7:36 p.m. Law enforcement releases tear gas near protesters at the state Capital.

4:10 p.m. MARTA says all rail, bus, and paratransit routes will run as scheduled. For four straight nights the transit authority has closed all rail stations and shut down routes in the city as protesters and demonstrations filled Atlanta streets. 

2:25 p.m. - The City of Atlanta extended the 9 p.m. curfew for Tuesday night. The city has been under a 9 p.m. curfew for the last few nights. The curfew will last through sunrise Wednesday.

11:44 a.m. Six Atlanta police officers, including two former officers, now face charges for their role in the use of a stun gun and other force against two people during a protest. The entire incident was aired live on CBS46 News during demonstrations on Saturday.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. and members of his office announced charges against two officers already fired and four others for their involvement in the incident involving Taniyah Pilgrim, and Messiah Young over the weekend. D.A. Howard said he and his team watched CBS46's video extensively and interviewed the students before deciding on charges.

10:00 a.m. - The Fulton County District Attorney's Office is expected to file charges against officers involved in an incident that saw them use stun guns on a couple during protests over the weekend. Click here for more details and video of the incident

9 a.m. Joe Biden vowed to address institutional racism in his first 100 days in office as he sought to elevate his voice in the exploding national debate over racism and police brutality. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee offered emotional support and promised bold action during an in-person discussion Monday with black leaders in Delaware and a subsequent virtual meeting with big-city mayors who are grappling with racial tensions and frustrated by a lack of federal support. Without offering specifics, he promised to “deal with institutional racism” and set up a police oversight body in his first 100 days in office, if elected. The former vice president also said he'd be releasing an economic plan focused on education, housing and “access to capital" and investments, especially for minority Americans, later this month. “I really do believe that the blinders have been taken off. I think this tidal wave is moving,” Biden told the mayors of Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and St. Paul, Minnesota. “I realize we’ve got to do something big, we can do it, and everyone will benefit from it.”

8 a.m. Many people are expected to gather for a peaceful, social-distancing protest seeking justice for George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery Tuesday morning. The protest will take place in front of the Dunwoody Police Department on Ashford Dunwoody Road, beginning at 8 a.m. Participants will be walking up and down Ashford Dunwoody Road from the police department to the Perimeter Mall. Free water will be provided.

7 a.m. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms captured the nation's attention when she addressed the civil unrest occurring in her city after George Floyd’s death. “I am a mother to four black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old,” Bottoms said Friday in a rousing speech. “When I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother.” Bottoms and other black female mayors, including Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, are leading some of the nation's largest cities during an unprecedented moment of challenge as protests against police brutality overlap with the coronavirus pandemic and an economic collapse. They're being praised as thoughtful leaders at a time of political tumult and high-profile examples of black women seeking and winning political office across the country. Higher Heights for America PAC, a political action committee dedicated to electing more progressive black women, said there are seven black women serving as mayors in the nation’s 100 most populous U.S. cities, compared to just one in 2014.

6 a.m. Governor Kemp said Monday that close coordination between state and local officials gave law enforcement the upper hand over the weekend after an initially peaceful demonstration over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota turned chaotic and destructive Friday night in Atlanta. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp's comments came during a video teleconference with President Donald Trump and governors across the country, according to an audio recording reviewed by The Associated Press. Law enforcement and national security officials also joined the call. On Monday night, protesters were still in the streets of downtown Atlanta as the city's curfew neared. Shortly before 9 p.m., police officers and the National Guard deployed tear gas. Protesters largely dispersed, though some remained, and officers made arrests, apparently on curfew violations. A similar scene had played out the night before.

5 a.m. Two people have been shot as the city of Atlanta continues to be under a 9 p.m. curfew in hopes of curbing violent rioters during ongoing protests. Atlanta Police say the shooting occurred around 6:25 p.m. in the area of Tanner Street and William H. Borders Drive SE. Two males sustained gunshot woulds and transported themselves to an area hospital. Local rapper and activist Killer Mike has a barbershop, The SWAG Shop, located several feet away from the shooting incident. Neither of the men were participating in protests.

4 a.m. Several state elected leaders are planning a press conference Tuesday to address police accountability. According to a press release, the all-women elected group will meet at the state capitol at 10 a.m. to discuss “police accountability, as well as the sentiments of mothers in Georgia during the recent the protests in Atlanta, which is also known as the Atlanta Uprising.” The scheduled attendees, according to the press release include State Representatives Park Cannon (D-Atlanta), Renitta Shannon (D-Decatur), Bee Nugyen (D-Atlanta), Sandra Scott (D-Rex), Erica Thomas (D-Austell) and State Senator Nikema Williams (D-Atlanta).

JUNE 1:

11 p.m. The number of arrests made Monday evening after ongoing protests in Atlanta reaches 95; bringing the total to 393. 

A group of protesters lingering inside Centennial Olympic assaulted by discharging fireworks and throwing rocks. As a result, tear gas was used to disperse the crowd before arrests were made.

10 p.m. National Guard troops, APD, and other law enforcement agencies have restored order to downtown Atlanta; just hours earlier the area was heavily populated by protesters.

9:21 p.m. Atlanta police made 52 arrests Monday, bringing the total to 350 since protests began on Friday, May 29. The bulk of arrests were made in the area of Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Marietta Street.

9 p.m. For the third night in a row Atlanta has been placed under a 9 p.m. curfew. Police were able to successfully clear out the downtown area without deploying tear gas canisters as the curfew went into effect.

8:13 p.m. With protesters chanting for justice, Atlanta Police took a knee in solidarity.

6:30 p.m. President Trump addresses the nation as protests continue to erupt following the death of George Floyd. He urged governors to quickly regain order through the use of National Guard troops before he is forced to step in.

"I will deploy the United States military, and quickly solve the problem for them," said Trump.

5:04 p.m. Atlanta Police say 298 arrests have been made since the onset of protests and demonstrations began Friday.

4:40 p.m. As protesters and demonstrations are held across the metro, MARTA has decided to suspend all rail, bus, and paratransit services in the city of Atlanta at 9 p.m. The suspension of services is in conjunction with the Mayor's third night of curfews used to mitigate the threat of out of control acts of vandalism that took place over the weekend.

Those within Atlanta city limits are advised to board their last route at 8:30 p.m. Rail services outside of Atlanta will continue to operate from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.; bus routes will continue until their scheduled end of service.

2:20 p.m. The City of Atlanta is under a 9 p.m. curfew Monday night through sunrise Tuesday morning.  

7 a.m. Joe Biden’s search for a running mate could be reshaped by the police killing of George Floyd and the unrest it has ignited across the country, raising questions about contenders with law-and-order backgrounds and intensifying pressure on the presumptive Democratic nominee to select a black woman. Biden, who has already pledged to pick a woman, has cast a wide net in his search. Some of the women on his list have drawn national praise amid the protests over Floyd’s death, including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who delivered an impassioned appeal for calm in her city on Friday night. But the outcry over police brutality against minorities has complicated the prospects of Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who had a controversial record addressing police violence as a prosecutor in the city where Floyd died. Biden’s choice of a running mate will be among the most consequential decisions he makes in the campaign, particularly given that the 77-year-old is already talking about himself as a “transition” candidate to a new generation of Democratic leaders. His pick will also be viewed as a signal both of his values and who he believes should have representation at the highest level of the American government.

6 a.m. The College Football Hall of Fame is boarded up and assessing damage from a destructive night of protests in downtown Atlanta. The facility’s most valuable trophies and artifacts were moved to a secure facility in case additional trouble breaks out amid nationwide unrest over the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded to police that he could not breathe. Kimberly Beaudin, the hall’s chief executive officer, said the extensive glass facade of the nearly 95,000-square-foot building was shattered Friday night. Rioters also broke into the street-level gift shop, stole merchandise and left it “pretty trashed,” she added. But, other than some broken glass that fell into a large exhibition area shaped like a football field, the interior of the hall was not breached by the protesters. “All of it can repaired. All of it can be recovered. All of the merchandise can be replaced,” Beaudin told The Associated Press in an interview Sunday. “We’re very thankful.” Previously located in South Bend, Indiana, the Hall of Fame opened a new $68.5 million facility in Atlanta in 2014, taking a prime spot adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and right across the street from Centennial Olympic Park.

5 a.m. Riot police firing volleys of tear gas dispersed hundreds of demonstrators as a curfew began Sunday night, scattering a crowd that had protested for hours in downtown Atlanta over the deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. Hundreds of police, Georgia National Guard troops and other forces took up positions around downtown Centennial Park, sealing off the area that was the epicenter of three nights of protests as all but a handful of the protesters disbanded. The overnight curfew took hold at 9 p.m. as some on the fringes of a largely peaceful crowed were setting off fireworks and burning construction materials near the park where some tried to erect a street barricade. An Associated Press photographer saw police begin firing multiple 40 millimeter canisters of tear gas toward the crowd. People — some choking and gasping and others throwing up — ran as helmeted officers with plastic riot shields moved in. Atlanta police arrested 64 people during Sunday's protests, Sgt. John Chafee said in a statement after midnight.

4 a.m. U.S. retailers large and small have closed some of their stores across the country because of disruptions caused by the widespread street protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Target, CVS, Apple and Walmart all said that they had temporarily closed or limited hours at some locations for safety reasons. In some places, their stores have been burned, broken into or looted as protests turned violent. Amazon said Sunday that it has adjusted its routes and suspended deliveries to keep its drivers safe in some cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Minneapolis. A spokeswoman, Kelly Cheeseman, said Amazon is also abiding by local curfews that have required people to remain off streets after a specified hour at night. Target said it hopes to reopen the Lake Street store by the end of this year. Another of its stores in Minneapolis remains closed, along with stores in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago and Oakland, California. At more than 200 of its stores, Target said it had either adjusted hours or temporarily closed over the weekend.

3 a.m. Video of the body camera footage of the moments leading up to Atlanta Police tasing two college students during the protests in Atlanta has been released. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields both condemning and then firing officers Ivory Streeter and Mark Gardner. "After review of that footage, Chief Shields and I have made the determination that two of the officers involved in the incident last night will be terminated immediately. The other three officers are, right now, on desk duty pending further determination of what, if any, appropriate disciplinary action should be taken against them," the mayor said.

2 a.m. Congressman John Lewis, a prominent political leader and champion of civil rights, is advising those protesting the death of George Young, to be "constructive" and "not destructive." Congressman Lewis added that he "can't help think of Emmett Till as I watch video after video after video of unarmed Black Americans being killed, and falsely accused." He says this is a special moment in history and he understands the pain of rioters and protesters across the nation but states, "rioting, looting, and burning is not the way. Organize. Demonstrate. Sit-in. Stand-up. Vote."

1 a.m. The Oconee County Sheriff's Office are advising people to avoid downtown Athens and a state-of-emergency is in place after police deployed gas and made arrests during a protest in Athens Sunday night. The local emergency order was issued by the Athens-Clarke County government and a 9 p.m. curfew has been established and will last until 5 a.m. Monday morning. Access to downtown Athens in closed at this time.

12 a.m. - Two police officers have been fired and three others placed on desk duty over excessive use of force during a protest arrest incident involving two college students, Atlanta's mayor said Sunday. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news conference that she and police Chief Erika Shields made the decision after reviewing body-camera footage of a Saturday night incident that first gained attention from video online and on local news. “Use of excessive force is never acceptable," Bottoms told reporters. Shields called the footage “really shocking to watch.” Police on Sunday night identified the fired officers as Investigator Ivory Streeter, who was hired in December 2003, and Investigator Mark Gardner, who was hired in August 1997.

MAY 31:

11:30 p.m. - Law enforcement across downtown Atlanta were in a more relaxed state as Monday morning neared. The city was quiet after two nights of chaotic demonstrations and riots. While the city was quiet, the wounds left from the weekend and the long-time problems associated with them leave the area with lots of work to do moving forward.

10:36 p.m. - The streets of Atlanta have quieted down considerably since earlier in the evening when it looked as though a third straight night of violence might erupt. The National Guard, along with APD and other law enforcement personnel were not actively engaged with any protesters in downtown Atlanta by a little after 10 p.m.

9:45 p.m. - National Guard troops are lining the streets along with Atlanta Police and other units. No major clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators are visible in the downtown area right now. 

9:40 p.m. - Along with the city of Atlanta, Athens/Clarke-County also issued a curfew of 9 p.m. and closed all access to the downtown area. City and county officials said that while a series of peaceful protests took place in the downtown area earlier today, the curfew was being done out of an abundance 

9:00 p.m. - The city of Atlanta is now under a curfew until sunrise Monday morning.

8:55 p.m. - Just minutes before the 9pm curfew will hit, violent protesters were tearing down parts of a construction site to try to build a barricade. As it was happening, police and national guard units moved on the protesters and fired lots of tear gas and were being followed by heavily-armored SWAT trucks.

3:55 p.m. - MARTA said Sunday afternoon it would be suspending all rail, bus, and paratransit services at 9 p.m. in accordance with Atlanta's curfew. Streetcar service is suspended for the remainder of the evening.

3:51 p.m. - Atlanta police said they arrested 157 Saturday. The arrests came on the first night of a 9 p.m. curfew in the City of Atlanta. APD said it's working to release the names of those arrested Friday and Saturday at some point Sunday evening.

12:05 p.m. - Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has put the City of Atlanta under a 9 p.m. curfew Sunday night. The curfew will last until sunrise Sunday morning and is the second straight night the city has faced a 9 p.m. curfew in the wake of mass demonstrations and protests in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody.

11:30 a.m. - Two Atlanta Target stores are among dozens nationwide that are being closed due to damage from protests or proximity to protests. The two stores in Atlanta are closed until further notice the company said. More information here.

11:15 a.m. - Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms held nothing back when talking about President Donald Trump and his response to the current unrest in America in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Mayor Bottoms compared Trump's response to his much maligned response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia a few years ago.

 ----- MAY 30, 2020 ------ 

11:26 p.m. Gov. Kemp signs an Executive Order deploying up to 3,000 National Guard Troops across Georgia as more protests are expected Sunday.

10:50 p.m. A total of 51 arrests have been made on day of ongoing demonstrations in the area of Ted Turner Drive and Marietta Street where most of Atlanta's demonstrations and protest have taken place.

APD says windows of the Zone 5 police precinct have been broken, and a police patrol has been damaged by those who disrupted peaceful protesters.

Though most most people cleared the streets as the city went under a 9 p.m. curfew, police say those who are resistant remain in the area of Andrew Young International Boulevard. 

10:30 p.m. Atlanta Police confirm a motors officer was struck by an ATV in the 200 block of Ted Turner Drive.

The officer sustained significant injuries, while the rider appears to have only sustained minor injuries. The suspect has been taken into custody. 

9:45 p.m. Police implement more force as tasers are used to remove two people from a car.

9 p.m. Atlanta goes under a 9 p.m. curfew. In an effort to clear demonstrators from the streets police have released tear gas in the downtown area.

8:04 p.m. In accordance with Mayor Bottoms' curfew, MARTA will suspend all rail, bus, streetcar, paratransit services and all 38 stations will close at 9 p.m.

Riders should board their last train by 8:30 p.m.

"MARTA prioritizes the safety of our customers and employees. As protests continue in Atlanta and in cities across the country, transit service has been interrupted. MARTA Police Officers are stationed throughout the system to help ensure the safety and security of customers," read a statement from the transit authority.

All transit services will resume Sunday morning as scheduled given there are no impediments on the road or trackway.

8:00 p.m. Atlanta Police say 34 arrests have been made. At least one individual was armed with an unspecified weapon.

7:47 p.m. Congressman John Lewis reminds protesters that the way of violence is not the path that leads to justice.

7:30 p.m Tensions begin to rise as protesters challenge police by stepping into the street outside of the Governor's Mansion.

6:30 p.m. "This was a highly calculated terrorist organization," said Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields of those who disrupted peaceful protest by sparking looting, destruction, and vandalism of the city from the downtown area to Buckhead.

Allowing zero chances for her officers to be injured, she added that she is ready to make arrests if and when things take a turn for the worst Saturday night.

6:00 p.m. Mayor Bottoms issues a city-wide curfew through an Executive Order after a night of rioting left a trail of destruction throughout the city. Curfew begins at 9 p.m. and ends at sunrise Sunday.

5 p.m. Atlanta Police joins forces with 20 other local law enforcement agencies to protect vulnerable businesses districts and retail centers including Atlantic Station, Camp Creek Marketplace, Greenbriar Mall, Lenox Square, Phipps Plaza, Ponce City Market, The Mall West End.

“I’m incredibly proud of our officers for showing professionalism and restraint, allowing protestors to voice their valid concerns,” said Chief Erika Shields. “We were patient. But we will not allow these protests to devolve into the destruction of property or placing the safety or our officers in jeopardy. We will make additional arrests and we are grateful to the assistance we are receiving from our partner agencies.”

4 p.m. Gov. Kemp issued an Executive Order deploying as many as 1,500 National Guard troops throughout the city to maintain order and and address hotspots of illegal activity an in anticipation of more protest.

3 p.m. 1,500 National Guard Troops are deployed to Atlanta less than 24-hours after chaos ensued across the city during a justice for George Floyd protest.

12 p.m. Mayor Bottoms issued a statement after accessing damage caused in the downtown area including streets surrounding the CNN Center that now lay littered with glass, remnants of charred vehicles and several businesses defaced by looters.

"We know our citizens are angry. We are angry and we want justice. If we are to enact change in this nation, I implore everyone to channel their anger and sorrow into something more meaningful and effective through non-violent activism. What started out as a peaceful demonstration, quickly turned into mayhem and unnecessary destruction, and ultimately an assault on businesses that are already struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic."

1 a.m. Droves of looters descended upon Buckhead, breaching security at Phipps Plaza, Target and Lenox Square.

Atlanta Police worked to qualm the chaos as multiple shots rang out and cars came to a halt on Peachtree Road.

12 a.m. At the request of Mayor Bottoms, Governor Brian Kemp issued a State of Emergency for Fulton County to activate as many as 500 Georgia Guard troops to protect people and property in Atlanta.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(1) comment

Polygontoo

This is horrible! I mean the riots and the writing. Did spell check break? The blogger (because this isn’t a legitimate writer) used a mix of past, present, and future tense to describe a past event. No wonder people don’t take the news media serious. If writers can’t form simple sentences with accurate spelling, then I would prefer they not attempt to inform others using their opinions or interpretation of reality.

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