Georgia Governor Declares State Of Emergency Over Atlanta Protests, Mobilizes 1,000 National Guard Troops

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Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times,

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency on Jan. 26, allowing up to 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops to be bought in to help deal with violent protests that have broken out in recent weeks, with further demonstrations anticipated over the weekend.

The declaration is effective immediately and will expire on Feb. 9, unless extended by the governor.

Specifically, the state of emergency is being activated owing to “unlawful assemblage, violence, overt threats of violence, disruption of the peace and tranquility of this state, and danger existing to persons and property,” according to the declaration, under which all resources of the state of Georgia will be made available to assist in the ongoing response to the state of emergency.


Kemp, a Republican, declared the emergency following a weekend of protests in downtown Atlanta that quickly turned violent.

Masked rioters lit fireworks in front of the Atlanta Police Foundation, shattering large glass windows and vandalizing walls with anti-police graffiti.

At least three businesses were damaged when bricks and rocks were thrown at properties, according to local reports. In some instances, protesters used hammers to smash windows. A number of police vehicles were also attacked during the protests and at least one was set on fire, according to the reports.

Broken windows at a Wells Fargo branch are seen following a violent protest, in Atlanta, on Jan. 21, 2023. (Alex Slitz/AP Photo)

Protests Turn Violent

“Masked activists threw rocks, launched fireworks, and burned a police vehicle in front of the Atlanta Police Foundation office building,” Kemp’s declaration read. “Georgians respect peaceful protests, but do not tolerate acts of violence against persons or property.”

Six people were subsequently arrested following the weekend demonstrations and given multiple charges, including domestic terrorism.

At a press conference on Jan. 21, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens told reporters that some of the individuals had explosives on them.

The protests in Atlanta came in response to the death of Manuel Teran, 26, who was killed on Jan. 18 as authorities attempted to clear a group of demonstrators from an area that is set to be the future Atlanta Public Safety Training Center. Activists have been protesting at the site for months and have dubbed it “Cop City.”

Teran was reportedly helping to lead the protests when he allegedly shot and wounded a Georgia state trooper and was killed when police returned fire, according to a statement from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.

“Officers gave verbal commands to the man who did not comply and shot a Georgia State Patrol Trooper. Other law enforcement officers returned fire, hitting the man. Law enforcement evacuated the Trooper to a safe area. The man died on scene,” the statement reads.

However, friends of Teran claim that they were peacefully protesting in the area.

This combo of images provided by the Memphis Police Department shows (top L–R) officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, (bottom L–R) Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith. (Memphis Police Department via AP)

Police Charged in Murder of Tyre Nichols

Kemp’s emergency declaration comes as more protests are widely expected this weekend after the five police officers accused of killing a black man during a traffic stop on Jan. 10 were charged with second-degree murder.

Memphis Police Department officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith, who are all black and who have since been fired, were accused of beating 29-year-old Tyre Nichols to death during a Jan. 7 traffic stop.

Nichols died of his injuries three days later.

On Thursday, the Shelby County district attorney announced he would release footage of the arrest on Friday after 7 p.m. ET. A lawyer for Nichols’s family, Antonio Romanucci, described the footage as an “unadulterated, unabashed, non-stop beating of this young boy for three minutes,” adding, “he was a human piñata for those police officers.”

Atlanta Police released a statement to multiple media outlets on Thursday afternoon stating that they are “closely monitoring the events in Memphis and are prepared to support peaceful protests in our city.”

“We understand and share in the outrage surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols,” the statement continued. “Police officers are expected to conduct themselves in a compassionate, competent, and constitutional manner and these officers failed Tyre, their communities, and their profession. We ask that demonstrations be safe and peaceful.”

 

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