Oh Thursday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms delivered a fiery speech ripping into violent rioters in her city, admonishing them for disgracing the memory of George Floyd and making it clear they need to “go home” immediately.
“It’s enough,” Mayor Bottoms said during a Friday press conference. “We are all angry. This hurts. This hurts everybody in this room. But what are you changing by tearing up a city? You’ve lost all credibility now. This is not how we change America. This is not how we change the world.”
Protests started to pop-up across the nation on Tuesday over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after a police officer had his knee on the 46-year-old’s neck during an arrest, according to a viral video.
However, things quickly turned ugly; arson, looting, and violence spiked in places like Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and, by Friday night, Atlanta.
“You are disgracing our city, you are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country,” Bottoms continued, visibly angry. “We are better than this. We are better than this as a city. We are better than this as a country. Go home! Go home!”
The mayor emphasized that the “protesters” were not “protesting” at all, but violently destroying often minority-owned and low-income businesses and entities. In other words, destroying the lives of people they are claiming to support.
“At the request of Mayor [Keisha Bottoms] & in consultation with public safety & emergency preparedness officials, I have issued a State of Emergency for Fulton County to activate as many as 500 [Georgia Guard] troops to protect people & property in Atlanta,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, posted to Twitter on Friday night.
“They will deploy immediately to assist [Georgia DPS], [LE Division – GA DNR], [Georgia Corrections] & local law enforcement who are working tirelessly to subdue unlawful activity & restore peace,” he added. “We will continue to make all state resources available to local leaders during this emergency situation.”
They will deploy immediately to assist @ga_dps, @GaDNRLE, @GA_Corrections & local law enforcement who are working tirelessly to subdue unlawful activity & restore peace. We will continue to make all state resources available to local leaders during this emergency situation. (2/2)
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) May 30, 2020
Earlier this week, a video of Floyd’s arrest went viral, sparking outrage.
“An eight-minute clip filmed by a person on the street shows Floyd telling police he can’t breathe and begging the cop on top of him to stop before he falls unconscious,” The Daily Wire reported Tuesday. “Officer Derek Chauvin was identified as the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck outside Cup Foods on Chicago Avenue and East 38th Street.”
Since the incident, all four officers involved in the arrest have been fired, investigations from the FBI and state law enforcement have been opened, President Donald Trump has condemned the incident, and, on Friday, the officer at the center of the arrest was taken into custody.
Atlanta Mayor Bottoms condemns rioters in fiery speech: "You are disgracing our city, you are disgracing the life of George Floyd" pic.twitter.com/QPCVkG0JIO
— BNO News (@BNONews) May 30, 2020