In preparation for potentially violent anti-police protests in Atlanta this weekend, Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, proclaimed a state of emergency on Thursday.
After demonstrators in masks tossed rocks, set off fireworks, and set fire to a police vehicle in front of the Atlanta Police Foundation office over the weekend, the governor activated 1,000 National Guard troops and will deploy them to quell any more unrest.
“Georgians respect peaceful protests, but do not condone acts of violence against persons or property,” the governor’s directive reads.
Unless the governor extends the emergency declaration, it will end on Thursday, February 9.
Days after an environmental activist, Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, was shot and killed by police while opposing the building of a new police training center for the Atlanta Police Department, its opponents called the area “Cop City,” and violence broke out across the city over the weekend.
After shooting a Georgia state trooper on January 18 during a “operation” to remove encampment activists from the building site of the $90 million Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, the protester, aged 26 at the time of his death, was shot and killed by law police.
According to reports, the injured state trooper was brought to a nearby hospital and treated surgically. Last Friday, in response to a shooting involving police, anti-police activists called for a “night of wrath.”
Fox 5 Atlanta claimed that, over the weekend, rioters smashed the windows of at least three businesses with bricks. One of the at least two police cars that were attacked was set on fire. Investigators claimed that several of those detained had bombs on their person.
Six people, five of whom were not from the state, have been charged with domestic terrorism in connection with the riots that occurred over the weekend.
Nadja Geier, 24, from Nashville; Madeleine Feola, 22, from Spokane, Washington; Ivan Ferguson, 23, from Nevada; Graham Evatt, 20, from Decatur, Georgia; Francis Carrol, 22, from Kennebunkport, Maine; and Emily Murphy, 37, from Grosse Isle, Michigan; all were identified.