Demonstrators clash with Atlanta police officers in riot gear along Centennial Olympic Park Drive as protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in police custody continued Sunday for the third day. 
Photo: Ben Gray / For the AJC
Photo: Ben Gray / For the AJC

City of Atlanta under 9 p.m. curfew for 3rd consecutive night

UPDATE [2:22 p.m.]: The city of Atlanta is under a 9 p.m. curfew for the third night in a row.

The curfew is set to expire at sunrise Tuesday.

“Please stay home,” officials said in a Twitter post.


 

ORIGINAL STORY: A third day of protests in Atlanta over recent incidents of police violence across the country ended with 64 arrests.

According to Atlanta police, the arrests were made without major incidents. A citywide curfew went into effect at 9 p.m. Sunday.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Atlanta protests

“While we are pleased with the progress made today, we will remain ready for more issues as we enter into the work week,” police spokesman Sgt. John Chafee said Monday morning in a statement.

RELATED: Atlanta Mayor Bottoms extends nighttime curfew

Demonstrators have taken to the streets since Friday to protest the recent deaths of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in the custody of Minneapolis police, and Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was shot eight times and killed when Louisville police knocked down her door. Protesters also called for justice for Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was killed in a Brunswick-area neighborhood earlier this year.

PHOTOS: Third day of protests in downtown Atlanta

The demonstrations began peaceful but took violent turns both Friday and Saturday night as patrol cars burned and property was damaged.

Atlanta police walk by the CNN sign early Monday. The sign, which is a popular tourist photo spot, was damaged by vandals during protests Friday in downtown Atlanta.
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

At least 71 people were arrested Friday, and another 157 were taken into custody Saturday, according to police.

Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order declaring a state of emergency gives Georgia National Guardsmen the authority to make arrests, though they haven’t done that so far, said Maj. Gen. Tom Carden Jr., the state’s adjutant general. As many as 800 Guardsmen were deployed across the state over the weekend, including at locations in Atlanta and Savannah. None were injured and none discharged their weapons, Carden said.

“The governor and the mayor have made it clear that we are not going to tolerate what we saw on Friday night,” Carden said. “This is very serious. We were very fortunate on Friday night that people were not seriously injured or killed.”

An Atlanta police motorcycle officer was injured Saturday when he was hit by an ATV. Officer Maximilian Brewer is recovering at Grady Memorial Hospital and was in the intensive care unit as of Sunday night, Chafee said. 

On Sunday, two Atlanta officers were fired for what Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called clear excessive force during the arrests of two college students Saturday night. Three others are on desk duty pending an internal investigation.

MORETwo Atlanta officers fired for using excessive force, mayor says

Bottoms apologized for their conduct during a news conference Sunday. 

“We understand our officers are working very long hours under an enormous amount of stress, but we also understand that an excessive use of force is never acceptable,” she said. 


 

Sunday night’s demonstrations came to a head as a crowd gathered near Centennial Olympic Park and the curfew neared. The standoff between demonstrators and law enforcement reached the downtown Ferris wheel shortly after 9 p.m.

MORETensions rise after curfew goes into effect on third day of Atlanta protests

Bottoms said Sunday that city leaders would determine whether to extend a curfew for a fourth night. 

The Guardsmen, meanwhile, are preparing for the possibility of more protests. Carden is optimistic they will be more peaceful based on what he observed Sunday evening.

“I am praying for peace,” he said, “but as we pray for peace, we are preparing to make sure it happens.”

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.

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