ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says he does not see the need for now to call up more National Guard troops or deploy additional law enforcement officers to prevent protests over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota from turning violent. Kemp said he understood why people were upset, citing the coronavirus pandemic and “sky high” unemployment in addition to Floyd’s death. But he condemned the widespread vandalism and looting that broke out in Atlanta after a peaceful demonstration on Friday. Kemp has authorized up to 3,000 National Guard troops to be deployed to cities across the state, and sent state police to reinforce law enforcement in Atlanta.
ATLANTA (AP) – Six Atlanta police officers have been charged after a dramatic video showed authorities pulling two young people from a car and shooting them with stun guns during protests over the death of George Floyd. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced the charges during a news conference Tuesday. Four are charged with aggravated assault and one with aggravated battery, along with other charges. Video from Saturday shows police officers surrounding a car driven by a man with a woman passenger. The officers used stun guns on both the man and woman, who are rising seniors at historically black colleges in Atlanta.
ATLANTA (AP) – Several journalism organizations are condemning authorities’ detainment of two journalists who were covering protests in Atlanta. The Georgia chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists said in a news release that one journalist was detained Sunday and another on Monday covering protests and unrest that has followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Both were quickly released without charges. In one incident, Atlanta Journal-Constitution photographer Alyssa Pointer, a black woman, was detained by Georgia Department of Natural Resources officers while wearing press credentials. The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia’s governor said Monday that close coordination between state and local officials gave law enforcement the upper hand over the weekend. He was speaking about an initially peaceful demonstration over George Floyd’s death that turned chaotic and destructive Friday night in Atlanta. Gov. Brian Kemp’s comments came during a video teleconference with President Donald Trump and governors across the country, according to an audio recording reviewed by The Associated Press. Law enforcement and national security officials also joined the call.