More than 15 arrested in Savannah protests

More than 15 people were arrested Sunday night in Savannah, as another round of violent protests and riots shook Georgia and the nation over the death of George Floyd while he was in Minneapolis police custody.

According to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, those arrested are facing charges for disorderly conduct or violating a city ordinance, which is most likely the 8:30 p.m. curfew set by Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.

The curfew, according to WTOC, was lifted Monday at 7 a.m., but it might be extended Monday night.

There have been no reports of any vandalism or major disruptions in the coastal Georgia city.

»PHOTOS: Protesters peacefully march in Savannah

“We have experienced a great day of peaceful demonstrations, necessary dialogue, unity and solidarity,” Johnson told WSAV. “We want to continue to ensure the safety of our citizens, visitors and the protection of property. This is an uncomfortable-but-necessary step in making that happen.”

Earlier Sunday, people gathered in Savannah, Augusta and Columbus to peacefully protest the death of Floyd.


Hundreds made their way Sunday afternoon through downtown Savannah to honor Floyd, according to news outlet WSAV, but the city braced for possible trouble later.

Gov. Brian Kemp’s office told WSAV about reports of protesters placing backpacks full of bricks and wood around Savannah’s squares.

Kemp’s office said similar moves were made in Charleston, South Carolina, where protests turned destructive and violent, according to WSAV.

The governor’s officials said protesters from Charleston were in town, WSAV reported, and local law enforcement was keeping an eye out for buses of out-of-town protesters moving in Sunday night.

Kemp’s office said it was working with GEMA to strategically place National Guard soldiers around the city Sunday night.

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Earlier Sunday, District 6 Alderman Kurtis Purtee, who has a long history in law enforcement, told WSAV that Sunday’s march was good, but he admitted it has been difficult for him.

“I’ve been in law enforcement for 19 years, and I know we can do a better job than what we’re doing now,” Purtee told the news outlet.

District 2 Alderman Detric Leggett told WSAV the demonstration remained peaceful.

“We take care of our friends, our family and our neighbors,” Leggett told the TV station.

The crowd, which reportedly stretched to Johnson Square and beyond, made its way to Savannah’s City Hall, where participants heard from multiple speakers.

The crowd, which reportedly stretched to Johnson Square and beyond, made its way to Savannah’s City Hall, where participants heard from multiple speakers.

Johnson and Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter attended the event, according to WSAV.

Johnson called for justice and for peace, according to WSAV.

“Because we love our city, we are not going to let anyone come to our home and trash our home, nobody,” Johnson said, according to the station.

The crowd remained nonviolent and cheered as the mayor spoke, WSAV reported.

Johnson said Savannah will not stand for injustice.

“This is a moment,” the mayor said, according to WSAV. “What happens tomorrow is a movement.”

He also called on the community to respect police officers, saying not all of them are bad, WSAV reported.

After hearing from the mayor, protesters began marching down Bay Street.

The crowd, which chanted and carried signs, remained peaceful, according to the news outlet.