Reed meets with protest leaders at Gov mansion, agrees to sit-down after 'cooling off' period

12:30 a.m. Reed met with four organizers inside a government vehicle. They later emerged with Reed confirming a meeting scheduled for next Monday at 9 a.m. following what he calls “a cooling off period.”

11:37 p.m. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has arrived at the governor’s mansion. Atlanta Police Department Chief George Turner has asked the crowd to disperse.

11:21 p.m. Atlanta Police Department Chief George Turner made an appearance at the governor’s mansion and briefly spoke to the news media. Protesters had earlier requested that Turner and/or Mayor Kasim Reed address their concerns in person. Some protesters left when word got out that police would begin towing cars at Lenox Square, but many are still on hand.

11:07 p.m. A sit-in outside the governor’s mansion has been going on for almost 90 minutes, with many protesters saying they plan to stay all night. An officer on the scene confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that if protesters leave the area, such as to get food or drinks, they will not be permitted to return. The march began at 7 p.m. on Lenox Road, made its way south on Peachtree Road and then turned onto West Paces Ferry Road. Estimates have the crowd at between 200 and 300 at this point.

10:13 p.m. The protesters, still entrenched outside the governor’s mansion, are requesting a meeting with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta Police Department Chief George Turner. Governor Nathan Deal is in Germany on a trade mission.

9:47 p.m. Protesters are sitting down in front of the governor’s mansion on West Paces Ferry Road, many shouting “Black Lives Matter.” The road is completely clear.

9:08 p.m. The group of protesters, chanting “Justice,” remains on the sidewalk. They are now on West Paces Ferry Road headed toward the governor’s mansion.

8:43 p.m. The protesters moved to the sidewalk on Peachtree Road as multiple arrests were made. They returned to the street momentarily, but police are trying to move the march back to the sidewalk again.

8:30 p.m. The first arrests have been made as the protesters approached Piedmont Road on Peachtree. The group, which is on the move again, has grown to about 300 people.

UPDATE [8:15 p.m.] The protesters are blocking the intersection in front of Lenox Square, keeping cars from entering the mall parking lot across from the Monarch Plaza.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Protesters gathered in Buckhead on Monday night, kicking off the fifth consecutive day of demonstrations following the shooting deaths last week of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota by police.

Protesters began trickling into the Lenox MARTA station shortly after 6 p.m. The crowd had grown to about 80 protesters and a dozen MARTA officers shortly before the 7 p.m. announced start time after a storm passed through the area.

The group, which by then had swelled to about 150, began to march down Lenox Road shortly after 7:30 p.m., a few carrying and beating drums. Three police cars followed the procession.

The protesters chanted, “Whose streets? Our streets.”

They were then stopped by police barricades around 8 p.m. at Peachtree Street, where they turned and headed south past Lenox Square and blocked cars from the mall parking lot.

Imani Weaver, 19, came out for the first time. “I missed the (earlier protests) and I felt I should have been at one.”

Kalani Blackman came with her twin 18-month-old daughters, Noelle and Saffaiyah. She and Chaquoia Holmes wanted to come to earlier protests but wanted to make sure they weren’t violent first.

“We’re here because black lives matter and we’re black and my children’s lives matter, and any other injustice that’s going on needs to be addressed,” Blackman said.

Protesters gathered for a second reason: black dollars matter, too.

“This is the business district,” Black Lives Matter Greater Atlanta chapter president Sir Maejor said of the Buckhead location of Monday’s protest. “This is where the money is.”

Past protests have been downtown, but Page said he wants to hit people dismissive of the group’s efforts in the pocket.

“We want to be able to touch this demographic here,” he said. “This is where a lot of travelers pass by and we want to be able to affect these people as well.”

An estimated 15,000 people marched and demonstrated over the weekend — 10,000 on Friday night alone.

Staff photographer Curtis Compton and reporter Laura Thompson contributed to this article.

Return to ajc.com for updates.

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