Kemp declares state of emergency in Georgia after protests erupt in Atlanta
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Thursday declared a state of emergency in response to a series of protests in Atlanta that turned violent last weekend.
Kemp called for up to 1,000 members of the Georgia National Guard and made “all resources” available to respond to the protests in which six people were arrested on Saturday. The state of emergency will be in effect through the end of Feb. 9 unless Kemp extends it.
He said in the order that it was being issued because of “unlawful assemblage, violence, overt threats of violence, disruption of the peace and tranquility of this state and danger to existing persons or property.”
Peaceful protests stepped up in the city last week in response to a police shooting of an activist, 26-year-old Manuel Teran, during an operation to clear a construction site of a new public safety training facility. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said that Teran shot a state trooper before he was shot and killed.
Some protesters reportedly started throwing bricks at buildings and setting police cars on fire as demonstrations turned violent, and Mayor Andre Dickens (D) has said that some were carrying explosives.
Protesters have questioned law enforcement’s description of the events that led to Teran’s death and called for an independent investigation into the incident.
ABC reported that the group backing the protests is called Stop Cop City and is pushing against the creation of the training ground facility for the Atlanta Police Department.
The protesters who have turned to violence also shot off fireworks and smashed windows, according to ABC.
The state of emergency comes as Memphis police on Friday are set to release the body camera footage of the killing of Tyre Nichols, a Black motorist, which has been expected to lead to protests throughout the city, and possibly nationwide, in response.
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