After curfew, tensions rise in downtown Atlanta

Small groups of people roam the streets  after curfew Saturday, some vandalizing property, as protests began for a second day.  Protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody spread around the United States on Saturday, as his case renewed anger about others involving African Americans, police and race relations.     Hyosub Shin / hyosub.shin@ajc.com
Small groups of people roam the streets after curfew Saturday, some vandalizing property, as protests began for a second day. Protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody spread around the United States on Saturday, as his case renewed anger about others involving African Americans, police and race relations. Hyosub Shin / hyosub.shin@ajc.com

Credit: Hyosub Shin

Credit: Hyosub Shin

Tensions rose in downtown Atlanta late Saturday, after a 9 p.m. curfew meant to maintain order during the second day of protests.

As midnight approached, following a couple of hectic hours, activity on downtown streets appeared to peter out. People left, and police made arrests.

Small groups moved about the downtown streets after nightfall. Some smashed windows. Police made dozens of arrests throughout the day, and tear gas was also deployed.

The windows of a downtown police precinct were smashed, and at least one patrol car damaged.

Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order authorizing up to 3,000 National Guard troops to work statewide in advance of protests planned Sunday in Savannah and elsewhere.

Atlanta police reported that a police officer was significantly injured after being struck by someone riding an all-terrain vehicle in the area near the 200 block of Ted Turner Drive.

The rider of the ATV received minor injuries and was taken into custody after the incident, which happened around 10:30 p.m.

Police said they have not yet determined “the circumstances of this collision.”

As the city’s 9 p.m. curfew approached, many pedestrians and protesters left the streets. But, some remained. Police reported most of the after-curfew issues took place around  Marietta Street and Andrew Young International Boulevard.

Atlanta police had made 51 arrests by 10:50 p.m. Saturday. On Friday, as peaceful protests and then looting rocked Atlanta, police arrested 71.

Several people are arrested late Saturday night at Luckie and Cone streets in downtown Atlanta.
Several people are arrested late Saturday night at Luckie and Cone streets in downtown Atlanta.

Atlanta police reported Saturday night that officers have had rocks and other items thrown at them.

At least one patrol car was damaged, and people broke out the windows of the police department’s Zone 5 precinct on Ted Turner Drive.

Small groups of six to 12 people roved about the downtown area, smashing windows. Among the broken glass: The windows of the Peachtree Center MARTA station and along Williams Street, where a firework was also lit inside a store.

Police warned people to go home. The curfew is meant to deter the kind of looting and vandalism that took place Friday, in the aftermath of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Arthur Harden, who works security at a building on John Wesley Dodd Avenue, said some protesters had smashed the windows out. He shouted at marchers as they passed by.
"This is a black-owned business!" he said. "What did this building do to you?"