For about 30 minutes Sunday night, those riding on West Peachtree Street saw “(Expletive) TRUMP” along the side of the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Midtown hotel.
Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America’s social media committee projected the image about 7 p.m., days after Republican Donald Trump defied polls and became the 45th president of the United States, group Chair Milt Tambor said Tuesday. Photos of the expletive-filled message circulated on social media.
“We’ve got people upset and angry with the election,” Tambor said, adding that they’ve had an uptick in membership.
Since the election, protesters have marched through Atlanta and cities across the country, with many speaking out against comments Trump made about women and minorities during his campaign.
There was nothing illegal about the Democratic Socialists of America’s actions. Had the group defaced property to post their anti-Trump sentiment, they’d be looking at vandalism charges, according to Atlanta police spokesman Officer Lukasz Sajdak.
“As far as I can tell, the criteria reading under the statute for vandalism appears to require physical damage of some sort,” he said. “Since the sign was projected, the only thing I can think of is if the persons doing this were asked to turn it off and leave the property, and if they did not, it could be trespassing.”
Tambor said the members were asked to take the projected sign down and leave, which they did.
“The Crowne Plaza Atlanta Midtown hotel holds the safety, security and well-being of our guests and employees as our top priority and concern,” the hotel’s general manager, Patrick Palmer, said in a statement. “Our hotel staff and leadership team immediately implemented proper protocols to notify local authorities and have this projected statement removed as quickly as possible.”
This wasn’t the first time members projected political statements onto the side of the building, Tambor said. Throughout the presidential campaign season, they projected images of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont onto buildings.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.