Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has signed an Executive Order extending curfew in the entire territorial jurisdiction of the City of Atlanta. Curfew will begin at 9:00 p.m. tonight and end at sunrise 6/1/2020.Posted by City of Atlanta Government on Sunday, May 31, 2020
In her Sunday morning interviews on CBS and NBC, Bottoms also was critical of President Donald Trump, saying harsh rhetoric from him is making the situation worse.
Cities across the nation, including Atlanta, have been gripped by demonstrations against police violence, and in particular the death of George Floyd, a Minnesota man who died after a police officer used his knee to pin Floyd to the ground by the neck. The officer who pinned Floyd has been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter, and three officers present have been fired.
Complete coverage: Atlanta protests
“I think that there is a place in America for peaceful protest, and we know that peaceful protests have had a history of changing things in this country,” Bottoms said on CBS’ Face The Nation. “But it has to be organized and it has to be for a purpose. And when you have violent eruptions like we’ve seen across America, then we lose sight of even what we are talking about. Yesterday, all we talked about was how our cities were erupting across America, but we weren’t even talking about George Floyd and so many others who have been killed in this country.”
Bottoms said the 9 p.m. curfew in Atlanta and deployment by Gov. Brian Kemp of National Guard forces "helped tremendously" in quelling unrest. Still, protests led to property damage, arrests and some injuries.
Atlanta protests: More National Guard troops to deploy ahead of new planned protests in Georgia
Bottoms said outside groups were instigators in turning what started Friday as a peaceful demonstration into a violent one.
“Obviously, we are the home of the civil rights movement. So, we … have a long history of protest in our city,” Bottoms said. “But our organizers in Atlanta, many of whom don’t agree with me quite often as mayor, were very clear that this, by and large, after things turned violent, was not an Atlanta-based protest. It looked differently racially in our city than our normal protests looked. … So, we don’t know who they were, but many of them were not locally based.”
Atlanta police haven’t identified outside groups and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is seeking more information about those arrested at the protests so far.
Bottoms also was asked about comments from Trump in which he told “liberal” mayors and governors to get tougher and threatening to deploy the military. Trump also tweeted the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” a reference to comments in the 1960s from a former Florida police chief.
Trump also has said he supports peaceful protests, called Floyd’s killing a tragedy and said he stands with Floyd’s family.
Asked about Trump making an Oval Office address to the nation, Bottoms said she wants to hear leadership from the president.
“What I’d like to hear from the president is leadership,” Bottoms said in an interview on NBC’s Meet The Press. “And I would like to hear a genuine care and concern for our communities and where we are with race relations in America. We know that when he spoke on Charlottesville he made the matter worse. And we’re already — we’re — And we’re well-beyond the tipping point in America. And it’s as my grandmother used to say, ‘If you don’t have anything good to say, sometimes you just shouldn’t say anything at all.’”