Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms participated in a virtual round table discussion Monday. The panel was hosted by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with other mayors from Los Angeles, Chicago and St. Paul.
Photo: Facebook Live
Photo: Facebook Live

Biden praises Atlanta Mayor Bottoms for ‘incredible’ protest response

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden praised Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for her “incredible” response to days of civil unrest, singling her out during a Monday forum with other mayors for her passionate plea asking demonstrators to go home.

During a virtual discussion with Bottoms and the mayors of Chicago, Los Angeles and St. Paul, Biden stoked more talk that he could pick the first-term Atlanta mayor to be his running-mate, lauding her message to protesters over the weekend.

“You’ve been incredible. I’ve watched you like millions and millions of Americans have on television of late,” Biden said. “Your passion, your composure, your balance has been really incredible.”

Bottoms held up Atlanta as a model for other cities, as protests swept across the nation in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police. Biden and the mayors appeared to be taking notes when Bottoms spoke about at-risk youth centers in Atlanta where officers volunteer.


READ | Clean-up begins after night of violence in Atlanta


“They’re establishing these relationships with these kids outside of chasing them down the block,” Bottoms said.

Demonstrators first took to Atlanta streets Friday, protesting the unjustified police killings of black people — including Breonna Taylor, a black woman shot eight times and killed in March when Louisville police knocked down her door to serve a search warrant.

Through chants and signs, people also demanded justice for Ahmaud Arbery, a black man whose filmed killing in a Brunswick-area neighborhood sparked national outrage.

After a peaceful start, the Friday protest turned chaotic, with police deploying tear gas and cars set ablaze amid broken shop windows. Supported by National Guard members on Saturday and Sunday, police took a more aggressive strategy, leading to a weekend of arrests.


COMPLETE COVERAGE | Atlanta protests


Two black Atlanta police officers were fired Sunday for using excessive force while arresting two young African Americans in a car.

“I’m struggling for words because there’s so many layers to this that we’re trying to figure out in real time with our communities,” Bottoms said.

Shortly before the roundtable, President Donald Trump scorned “weak” governors, telling them they “have to get much tougher” on demonstrators.

Bottoms, who was repeatedly critical of the president over the weekend, fired back.

“To see the president of the United States say that he’s going to send the military into our communities but hasn’t mentioned sending a single dime of support into our communities speaks to where we are in America,” Bottoms said.

AJC reporter Greg Bluestein contributed to this article.

She says this is not infringing on everyone?s rights, but she will not let happen tonight what has happened across the country. ?We will maintain order in the streets of Atlanta this evening.?

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.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.

With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.

Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.

X