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Atlanta Mayor To Protesters: ‘We Are In The Midst Of A Movement In This Country’

The Atlanta Police Department announced only six arrests in connection with demonstrations Thursday night.
The Atlanta Police Department announced only six arrests in connection with demonstrations Thursday night.
Credit Emil Moffatt / WABE
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Updated at 11:32 p.m. Thursday

On the same day mourners came together at a Minneapolis memorial service to honor George Floyd, demonstrators in Atlanta gathered Thursday for a seventh day, joining a continued global protest for justice.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms walked with protesters downtown and told the crowd through a megaphone that “there is something better on the other side of this.”

Crowds have gathered downtown every day since Friday in response to the death of Floyd — as well as Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky — and protested against police brutality, racism and inequality.

“We are in the midst of a movement in this country,” Bottoms said. “But it’s going to be incumbent upon all of us to be able to get together and articulate more than our anger. We got to be able to articulate what we want as our solutions.”

Police Chief Erika Shields also attended the protest.

When the first night of protests on Friday turned chaotic, an impassioned Bottoms held a news conference and urged the protesters to go home, saying those who were looting and vandalizing businesses were disgracing the city and Floyd’s life.

She told the crowd on Thursday that they “matter” to her, and before she left, she encouraged them to get tested for COVID-19.

Bottoms is under consideration to be presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, and the protests have become a leadership test for her. Her remarks on Friday were widely praised.

She announced this week that she would establish a commission to look at the city’s use of force policies.


A curfew was in effect for Atlanta from 9 p.m. Thursday to sunrise Friday. That curfew begins an hour earlier Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Police refrained from using tear gas for a second straight night to clear protesters from downtown at the 9 p.m. curfew. The Atlanta Police Department announces only six arrests in connection with demonstrations Thursday night.

Hundreds marched from Ebenezer Baptist Church to Ponce City Market.
Hundreds marched from Ebenezer Baptist Church to Ponce City Market. (Emil Moffatt/WABE)

In Minneapolis, the service for Floyd — the first in a series of memorials set for three cities over six days — unfolded at a sanctuary at North Central University as a judge a few blocks away set bail at $750,000 each for three fired Minneapolis police officers accused of aiding and abetting murder in Floyd’s death.

Floyd, 46, died May 25 after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, put his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as he lay handcuffed on the pavement, gasping that he couldn’t breathe.

Chauvin has been charged with murder, and he and the others could get up to 40 years in prison.