Someone smashed a window at Meehan’s Public House in downtown Atlanta during Tuesday night’s protest march, after which some protestors stopped to apologize and others stopped to take selfies at the site.
“Some people came by and sincerely apologized and said, ‘This is not what this is about.’ Some people laughed. Some people took selfies,” general manager Andrew Rattray said. “With that many people it’s very rare you’re going to have a unified mindset.”
The restaurant staff ushered guests out through a back exit and closed early following the incident. No one was hurt.
“It was more annoying” than frightening, Rattray said. “Kind of sad, honestly.”
The window smashing was part of a smattering of property violence that occurred as a group of people marched through Atlanta Tuesday night to protest the Ferguson, Mo. grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown. The night ended with two dozen people arrested.
Wednesday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Police Chief George Turner held a news conference during which they said they supported people’s right to march and protest, but not to break things or block traffic.
“Don’t be mad at the police for preventing you from destroying other people’s property,” Reed said during a news conference Wednesday. “When Dr. Martin Luther King and Ambassador Andrew Young and Ralph David Abernathy marched they did it in a highly coordinated process,” Reed said. “They didn’t just go run on the freeway.”
Meehan’s, on Peachtree Street in the heart of downtown Atlanta, closed early tonight but had planned to do so early, to allow staff members to get a jump on Thanksgiving travels. It will be closed on Thanksgiving and opens at 4 p.m. with a special promotion planned: Goose Island Bourbon Barrel Stout, available only once a year, will be on tap.
“We’ll be here, we’ll be open,” Rattray said. “Hopefully nothing else happens.”