Protesters temporarily shut down Downtown Connector

Protesters shut down the Downtown Connector on Thursday night following a protest at Piedmont Park after a man was found hanging from a tree early Thursday.

Hundreds of protesters got through both Georgia State Patrol and Atlanta Police Department barricades and were on the northbound freeway near the North Avenue exit. After a few minutes, they returned to marching on North Avenue toward Peachtree Street.

Police said the protesters were asked to leave or they’d be arrested, according to Channel 2 Action News. Atlanta police told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution no arrests were made during the protests.

Periscope footage shows a group of protesters flooding downtown Atlanta streets, shouting "Black Lives Matter" and "Hands Up, Don't Shoot."

The protest was originally planned for Friday at Centennial Olympic Park, but was moved up following the shooting of two black men by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota and the death at Piedmont Park.

"The gathering is a safe space to affirm the dignity of Black people, to build relationships across diverse communities, and to strengthen the Black Lives Matter movement in Atlanta and across the world," the Facebook event page said.

The NAACP has planned an organized march for 6 p.m. Friday at Centennial Olympic Park. Protesters will meet at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

“It’s time for change,” the Facebook event page read. “It’s way overdue.”