Protestors gathered in cities across the country last night in response to the death of George Floyd, who died in the custody of Minneapolis police earlier this week.
In Atlanta, as in other cities, the protests turned to riots as buildings in the downtown area, including the CNN World Headquarters, were broken into and vandalized and cars were set on fire.
The mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, who is African American, in an emotional briefing last night called for the rioting to end.
“When I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt. And yesterday when I heard there were rumors about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do. I called my son and I said, ‘Where are you?’ I said, ‘I cannot protect you and black boys shouldn’t be out today.’”
“So you’re not going to out-concern me and out-care me about where we are in America,” she continued. “I wear this each and every day.”
When it came to the riots, however, Bottoms voiced her anger.
“This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.. This is chaos.”
“So if you love this city,” she said. “This city that has had a legacy of black mayors and black police chiefs, and people who care about this city, where more than 50% of the business owners in metro Atlanta are minority business owners, if you care about this city, then go home.”
“This is not the legacy of civil rights in America,” she concluded. “This is chaos and we’re buying into it. This won’t change anything.”
To watch the full briefing, click here.