Person sought after pepper-spraying cop at Atlanta protest

Authorities are searching for a person accused of pepper-spraying an Atlanta police officer during last month's protest downtown.
Authorities are searching for a person accused of pepper-spraying an Atlanta police officer during last month's protest downtown.

Credit: Crime Stoppers

Credit: Crime Stoppers

Atlanta police are searching for a person accused of pepper-spraying an officer during last month’s protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake.

The incident occurred Aug. 25 near the intersection of Andrew Young International Boulevard and Ted Turner Drive, authorities said. Police on Thursday released new video of the protest, hoping someone recognizes the individual they are seeking. The footage appears to show the person carrying an umbrella and wearing a mask that covered their head and face. The person is also wearing a backpack and carrying what appears to be a strobe light.

Eight arrests were made that evening after what began as a peaceful protest turned destructive, AJC.com previously reported.

The crowd of about 100 people gathered at Woodruff Park to protest the police shooting of Blake, a Black man who was shot seven times in the back during an arrest two days earlier in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

ExploreAtlanta protests over Jacob Blake shooting end in precinct damage, 8 arrests

The 29-year-old father of six may never walk again, his family said.

“Your life, and not only just your life, your legs, something you need to move around and forward in life, can be taken from you like this,” Blake said in a recent video, snapping his fingers.

ExploreJacob Blake speaks out for first time since police shooting

The Atlanta demonstration over his shooting only lasted about an hour. As the crowd moved through downtown, protesters took several police barricades and scaffolding from a nearby construction site and placed them in the roadway.

Protesters and police face off in downtown Atlanta Tuesday evening, Aug. 25, 2020. Authorities said multiple people were arrested after an Atlanta police precinct sustained damage during a protest for a Black Wisconsin man who was shot several times by a police officer.  (Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Protesters and police face off in downtown Atlanta Tuesday evening, Aug. 25, 2020. Authorities said multiple people were arrested after an Atlanta police precinct sustained damage during a protest for a Black Wisconsin man who was shot several times by a police officer. (Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

Tensions quickly boiled over outside the Zone 5 police precinct when a window was shattered and a wall was spray-painted. Officers moved to arrest the person who was spray-painting, which led to a scuffle between the crowd and cops. Officers in riot gear flooded the scene, dispersing the group.

A police precinct in Atlanta was damaged during the incident.
A police precinct in Atlanta was damaged during the incident.

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

The person accused of pepper-spraying the officer during the demonstration was among the crowd of people seen running from police as they moved in.

“This was not a peaceful protest," Atlanta police said at the time. "Fireworks were discharged, frozen water bottles and rocks were thrown at police officers; however we were able to quickly gain control of the crowds.”

Protesters and police face off in downtown Atlanta Tuesday evening, Aug. 25, 2020. Authorities said multiple people were arrested after an Atlanta police precinct sustained damage during a protest for a Black Wisconsin man who was shot several times by a police officer.    (Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Protesters and police face off in downtown Atlanta Tuesday evening, Aug. 25, 2020. Authorities said multiple people were arrested after an Atlanta police precinct sustained damage during a protest for a Black Wisconsin man who was shot several times by a police officer. (Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

Anyone who recognizes the person accused of assaulting the officer is asked to call Atlanta police.

Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.