Kemp authorizes thousands of National Guard troops to be deployed across Georgia

Kemp authorizes thousands of National Guard troops to be deployed across Georgia
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Gov. Brian Kemp (R) authorized up to 3,000 Georgia National Guard troops to be deployed to cities across Georgia on Saturday as protests against George Floyd’s and Ahmaud Arbery’s deaths continue. 

The Georgia governor announced that he signed an executive order sending the thousands of troops ahead of the protests planned for Sunday. 

“These highly trained citizen soldiers will partner will law enforcement to preserve peace and protect Georgians in every corner of our great state,” he posted.

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Guard soldiers assisted in enforcing the 9 p.m. curfew in Atlanta on Saturday, after demonstrations in the city escalated to violence on Friday. But Kemp said more would be prepared to address protests in other cities like Athens and Savannah on Sunday, The Associated Press reported

“The protesters need to know we’re going to support their efforts in a peaceful, nonviolent protest,” Kemp said, according to the AP. “The agitators need to know that we’ll be there, like you saw tonight, to take them to jail if they’re destroying lives and property.”

The governor declared a state of emergency for Fulton County, which includes a lot of Atlanta, on Friday before extending the order statewide on Saturday to last through next weekend.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also issued an executive order expanding curfew to last from 9 p.m. Sunday until sunrise Monday. She told CBS’s “Face The Nation” that Saturday night’s protests were less violent than Friday’s, citing the National Guard’s presence and the curfew. 

Atlanta police reported early Sunday that 70 people were arrested on Saturday as demonstrators threw rocks at officers and broke windows in the city. One officer was struck with an ATV while directing traffic, and the driver was taken into custody, Atlanta police spokesman Sgt. John Chafee told the AP.