Alleged far-left activists rioted in downtown Atlanta Saturday night in what started out as a protest over the death of a local activist.
Fox 5 reported that the protests turned into a riot when the activists “began throwing bricks at buildings and setting fire to police vehicles.”
Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said the group of protesters was peaceful to start before later turning violent.
“However, when that group arrived at the intersection of Ellis Street and Peachtree Street, a group inside that marching crowd decided to start committing illegal acts including breaking windows and attacking police cruisers that were in the area,” Schierbaum said.
Antifa messed around with cops in Atlanta. Antifa found out. pic.twitter.com/zUkHW0pjTA
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) January 22, 2023
Breaking: Far-left extremists & #Antifa gathering for revenge against law enforcement in #Atlanta over the killing of their gunman at their autonomous zone smashed up businesses & set an @Atlanta_Police vehicle on fire. Vid by @HumanDilemma_. #StopCopCity pic.twitter.com/yVHD1Bp4Ws
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) January 22, 2023
Antifa is burning down Atlanta right now pic.twitter.com/UH3H8CVV6X
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) January 22, 2023
In one video on Twitter, a local reporter can be heard attempting to downplay the scene, referring to the protest as “largely peaceful.”
Local Atlanta reporter calls the protest in Atlanta “largely peaceful protest” as a police cruiser is on fire in the background.
You can’t make this stuff up. pic.twitter.com/tYJpJulxdH
— 3sidedstory 🇺🇲 (@3sidedstory) January 22, 2023
The Atlanta Police Department said in a statement that they responded to the extremists “damaging property at several locations along Peachtree [Street].”
“Several arrests have been made at this time and order has been restored to the downtown space,” APD added. “This is still an active and ongoing investigation, and we will not be able to provide specifics on arrests numbers or property damaged, at this time.”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp condemned the violence in a statement posted to social media and said that the riot would not be tolerated.
“Violence and unlawful destruction of property are not acts of protest,” Kemp said. “They are crimes that will not be tolerated in Georgia and will be prosecuted fully. Thank you to the hardworking [Georgia Department of Public Safety, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Atlanta Police Department], and others actively keeping our streets safe tonight.”
This is a developing news story; refresh the page for updates.