Interior of the Central Library in downtown Atlanta, which while under construction had a window broken over the weekend of protests about police violence.
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM AJC FILE PHOTO
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM AJC FILE PHOTO

Fulton staff to stay at home longer, library damaged in protest

The window of a Fulton County library under construction was damaged amid the weekend of protests, according to a county spokeswoman, and Fulton has delayed re-opening some government offices to employees because of the civil unrest.

The county didn’t say how, but over the weekend of protests windows were broken at downtown Central Library. As previously reported, the 1980 building was the last built by notable architect Marcel Breuer and is undergoing a massive renovation — part of the county’s ambitious $275 million program to build nine libraries and renovate 23 more.

Fulton spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt said contractors are handling the repairs.


READ | Fulton adds two new polling places for last week of early voting


Since Friday, demonstrators have taken to the streets of metro Atlanta protesting unjustified police killings of black people. They have chanted the name of George Floyd, who died under the knee of Minneapolis police, and Breonna Taylor, a black woman shot eight times and killed in March when Louisville police knocked down her door to serve a search warrant. People have also been demanding justice for Ahmaud Arbery, a black man whose filmed killing in a Brunswick-area neighborhood sparked national outrage.

Most of the protests have started peacefully but end with chaos and arrests. On Friday, that included burned cars and broken shop windows


READ | 6 Atlanta officers charged after confrontation with college students


As a result, Corbitt said, the county has made some changes, like the 911 department using their backup site away from downtown.

Fulton leaders had planned to bring back employees in finance, HR, purchasing and other administrative roles to the county headquarters at 141 Pryor St. downtown on Monday after being closed for months to slow the spread of COVID-19.

But the county sent a note Sunday at 6:31 p.m. to staff telling them to work from home another week, until June 8.


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The county provided a copy of the note that read:

“The last several days have been challenging for all of us. As you know, the safety of our residents and employees is always our highest priority. 

At this time, the Governor’s State of Emergency declaration and the City of Atlanta curfew remain in effect. 

Out of an abundance of caution, the reopening of administrative departments scheduled for June 1 will be delayed until June 8. Employees who are part of this planned reopening should continue to telework and engage with their departments.

Employees who are assigned to emergency essential services, such as public safety, elections, and justice system, should coordinate with their department director for any specific instructions.

Fulton County remains committed to diversity and inclusion, and to protecting the rights of our citizens. We thank you for your work every day to uphold these important priorities.”

The note ended with a link and phone number for employee assistance services should they want to talk to anyone.

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