Protesters run from tear gas and police officers after the 9 p.m. curfew went into effect in Atlanta. (Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Photo: Ben Gray/ Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: Ben Gray/ Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

52 arrested on 5th night of Atlanta protests 

Residents gathered around metro Atlanta on Tuesday for the fifth straight night of protests against racism and police brutality.

By 4 p.m., protesters had convened downtown, which has been the center of demonstrations since last Friday. A curfew is in effect again for the city of Atlanta from 9 p.m. Tuesday until sunrise Wednesday. Atlanta police have arrested at least 350 people in connection with the protests since Friday night. 

Law enforcement officers used tear gas shortly after the 9 p.m. curfew hit on Tuesday. (Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Photo: Ben Gray/ Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Atlanta protests

Groups said they also plan to protest in Lawrenceville on Tuesday. Several Georgia cities have already seen large crowds show up in protest of police brutality and racism in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Here are minute-by-minute updates from Tuesday’s protests:

7:15 a.m. Wednesday: Atlanta police spokesman Anthony Grant said the department made a total of 52 arrests. 

9:30 p.m.: The protesters have mostly left downtown. Police had detained a few people near Centennial Olympic Park.

9:05 p.m.: Law enforcement officers released tear gas as protests continued near Centennial Park, dispersing the crowds.

Protesters after being hit with tear gas downtown. (Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Photo: Ben Gray/ Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

9 p.m.: A curfew is now in effect for the city of Atlanta for the fourth night in a row. A group of protesters remains downtown.

Objects were thrown at the line of police officers as the curfew neared. Atlanta police officers told the protesters they need to disperse or they will be arrested.

Meanwhile, traffic was light on the Downtown Connector, with dozens of police cars lining the off and on ramps of several exits shortly before 9 p.m. Many officers stood outside their cars at the Williams Street exit, chatting with one another as they prepared for any crowds that might linger as the curfew approached.

There was a heavy police and National Guard presence downtown Tuesday evening. (Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Photo: Ben Gray/ Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

8:30 p.m.: After a group gathered for a peaceful protest near Underground Atlanta, a small group looted a shoe store, then quickly disbursed. Some others who were gathered nearby chastised them for targeting the shop.

In Centennial Park, the crowd started to thin out, though many appeared to be staying put as the 9 p.m. curfew approached. Organizer Sharon Odolli encouraged protesters to leave.

“The 9 p.m. curfew is in full effect,” she yelled. “We will be back out here tomorrow night.”

8 p.m.: More than an hour before the curfew in Atlanta, armored vehicles formed a tight cordon around the Georgia Capitol after protesters said authorities fired tear gas to scatter them.

Thema Swift, said she was outside the Capitol when authorities launched tear gas at demonstrators. 

“It was traumatic. We were gathering peacefully,” she said. “People were kneeling and chanting. We saw the officers put their gas masks on. We saw smoke. And we started running.”

7:30 p.m.: With the crowd back on the move, protesters applauded Reuben Hill, a healthcare worker who assists surgeries at Emory University Hospital Midtown, as he took in the march during a break. “I really appreciate them too,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gwinnett County Commissioner Marlene Fosque addressed the crowd in Lawrenceville, urging people to vote and engage in local government. Fosque, Gwinnett’s first black commissioner, attended Monday’s protest and spoke one-on-one with young protestors throughout. 

“I am sick and tired of turning on the TV and seeing another black man killed ... We need to know what we are working for and I need you to go vote,” she said.

7 p.m.: The protesters are now heading south on Peachtree Street. The marchers stopped and took a knee in the road outside of the Fox Theatre for a moment of silence for George Floyd.

Hope Dennis, one of the discussion leaders at the Lawrenceville protest, said the group “came out yesterday and we protested. We had great conversations with the officers and some of them were even moved to tears by hearing about our experiences.”

Dennis urged people in attendance not just to vote, but to learn about their local government, representatives and candidates up and down the ballot.

“Don’t hold your vote. We held our vote in 2016 and look what happened,” Dennis said.

6:30 p.m.: More than 30 miles south of downtown Atlanta, a group of peaceful protesters gathered  in Peachtree City in Fayette County. Police said they closed some roads to cars so the protesters could march, but streets were clear by 6:30.

In Midtown, Berry and Ayele Williams brought their daughter Ziahrae, who is almost 1, to the protest in a stroller. Berry Williams, 40, said police officers have pointed guns at him before, but he wants the system to change. Williams, who has three older sons, said he doesn’t want them to grow up being fearful for their life every day.

Berry and Ayele Williams brought their daughter Ziahrae, who is almost 1, to the protest in a stroller.
Photo: Ben Brasch/AJC

6 p.m.: Hundreds of peaceful protesters are marching north on Spring Street in Midtown. The group was previously walking down W. Peachtee Street and Ivan Allen Drive. Police had blocked off access to the Downtown Connector along Ivan Allen.

The crowd in Lawrenceville began marching too, heading down South Clayton Street before returning to the area around City Hall. The crowd kneeled and raised their fists before taking a nine-minute moment of silence in honor of George Floyd.

5:30 p.m.: The protest downtown has remained peaceful. A large group began marching north on Marietta Street. Law enforcement officers from Atlanta police, the Georgia National Guard and the Georgia State Patrol has blocked off parts of Centennial Olympic Park Drive near the CNN Center.

Groups also gathered around Atlanta’s Freedom Park for a march and protest.

The crowd in Lawrenceville is smaller than the protest Monday night, with about 50 to 100 people on the hill across from City Hall. Organizers said speakers would discuss what actions can be taken moving forward to achieve racial justice.

A group in Lawrenceville marches on Tuesday.
Photo: Amanda C. Coyne/AJC

5 p.m.: About 50 people have gathered around Lawrenceville City Hall, including a few kids. Some of the protesters are holding signs.

In Atlanta, Isabel Gambino and her daughter, Georgia State University student Lucia Gambino, handed out 150 masks they cut from bed sheets to protect fellow demonstrators from COVID-19. They were out in an hour.

Isabel Gambino hands out masks to protesters.
Photo: Ben Brasch/AJC

Protester Mauricio Serrano, of Fairburn, wore swimming googles Tuesday after he said he was hit with tear gas for the first time Monday. ‪Serrano, who identifies as black and Hispanic, said he was there “to support my people.”

4:30 p.m.: Peaceful protesters filled the intersection outside of the CNN Center, at the corner of Marietta Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive.

4 p.m.: Hundreds of protesters gathered downtown, holding signs and chanting. They kneeled in an intersection near Centennial Olympic Park, chanting “No Justice, No Peace. No racist police.” Members of the National Guard were also downtown.

At around the same time the protest began downtown, Gov. Brian Kemp held a press conference and said he is “outraged that Georgians are now in harm's way, because some are using this moment to riot, to loot and to compromise safety ... We’ll do whatever is necessary to keep the peace."

READ MORE: ‘A precarious point’: Kemp calls for calm in Georgia ahead of more protests

3:30 p.m.: Workers at some buildings used wood to re-enforce windows ahead of the protests downtown.

3 p.m.: A peaceful Tuesday afternoon protest in Dunwoody drew a few hundred people. They lined Ashford Dunwoody Road near the local police department, holding signs and eliciting honks of solidarity from passing cars. 

Lydia Wells, a 25-year-old black woman who grew up in Dunwoody, organized the event.

"I want people to see value in black lives," she said. "It should be normal, like making your bed and brushing your teeth. Kindness. That's it."

Wells praised Dunwoody police for supporting the event and even providing donuts.

Singleton said that the recent deaths of black Americans at the hands of police was a result of systemic racism and governments that "are not connected to the citizens."

"We're in 2020 and it's still happening," Singleton said.

READ MORE: Peaceful Dunwoody protest draws hundreds

Chief Billy Grogan was among the officers who stopped by the event and posed for pictures with protesters. 

Late Tuesday afternoon, he posted a lengthy Facebook missive saying he was “sickened” by George Floyd’s death and calling for all of the officers involved to be held accountable. 

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