Atlanta Police Department Chief George Turner is said 21 arrests followed Tuesday evening’s protest actions which included a brief shut-down of the 75/85 Connector near downtown Atlanta and a smattering of property damage. discussing the evening’s protests and arrests connected to the actions at this moment.
“That number could change as we move through the night,” he said of the number of arrests.
Protestors broke a window at Meehan’s Public House on Peachtree Street and at a Wells Fargo Bank branch, they damaged an Atlanta Police Department vehicle and a taxi cab vehicle, and attempted to break a window at the Ellis Hotel on Peachtree, Turner said.
“I believe we are better than what we’re seeing,” Turner said. “Our plans for the rest of the night are to be here and to make sure our city is safe. We will not leave our city unprotected.”
Currently protesters are heading down Marietta Street toward the CNN Center, and authorities are monitoring the scene closely.
Earlier Tuesday evening, protestors shut down the I-75/85 Connector near Edgewood Avenue for a time although authorities moved quickly to intervene and get things moving again.
WSB Traffic Team reporter Jason Durden has been in a helicopter above the protestors throughout the night and said the highway was blocked for at least 15 minutes.
“At one point, they formed a human chain across the Downtown Connector,” he reported.
Authorities quickly descended after the highway was shut and moved the protestors out of highway traffic lanes. The protest then thinned considerably and traffic on the Connector was able to get moving again.
From these photos posted Tuesday evening, it appears this action took place near Grady Hospital, the largest hospital in the state of Georgia and one of the busiest Level 1 trauma centers in the country. It’s unclear if emergency vehicles encountered delays delivering patients due to the halted highway.
At one point the movement that started in the heart of downtown Atlanta and meandered through downtown streets halted around the Ivan Allen/Peachtree intersection.
Atlanta Police Department officers were at that point able to get the crowd redirected back toward downtown.
AJC reporter Christian Boone reported that the officers, many wearing body cameras, told the crowd to disperse and told them that property damage wouldn’t be tolerated. In Ferguson, Mo., site of the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown and Monday’s grand-jury decision returning no indictment against Officer Darren Wilson, dozens of businesses were left damaged or destroyed in the riots following the grand jury announcement.