Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has ordered a Black Lives Matter “occupied zone” around a downtown Wendy’s — the site where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed in an encounter with cops last month — dismantled and cleared after an 8-year-old girl was allegedly murdered by protesters Sunday.
The young girl, Secoriea Turner, was killed when her mother exited the freeway and turned into a parking lot playing host to the “occupied” protest similar to the one that cropped up in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood early in June. Protesters reportedly swarmed the woman’s vehicle and fired a number of shots at the family, hitting Secoriea.
Just hours after that incident, police returned to the “occupied” zone to investigate yet another shooting, this one involving a group of adult males. Three people were wounded in that exchange of gunfire, a local Fox affiliate reports, and one person was killed.
In a press conference Sunday night, Bottoms ordered the “occupied” zone cleared and declared that protesters would no longer be able to set up a long-term camp at the site of Brooks’ death.
“After a night of a dozen shootings, including one in which an 8-year-old girl was killed, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Sunday said protesters could no longer occupy the Wendy’s where a police officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks last month,” Fox News reported Monday.
“Now we are demanding action for Secoriea Turner, and all other people who were shot in Atlanta last night,” Bottoms said. “Enough is enough. If you want people to take us seriously and you don’t want us to lose this movement, we can’t lose each other.”
“At the point that an 8-year-old baby is killed, the discussions have ended,” Bottoms added.
Although news reports have rarely mentioned the Atlanta “occupied” protest, demonstrators have apparently been engaged in a continuous presence at the downtown Wendy’s for weeks where Brooks died, surrounded by makeshift barriers, and refusing police assistance.
The city has been concerned about violence breaking out in the “occupied” zone since it took root, but crews previously charged with clearing the scene say they’ve encountered aggressive protesters and armed opposition.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the “Wendy’s has since served as ground zero for protests related to Brooks’ death, one of which ended with it being torched. Natalie White, the woman accused of setting the fire, was arrested and charged with arson.”
Police “removed” several people “carrying long guns and blocking the area surrounding the University Avenue restaurant” back in late June after a woman, who was part of the protest, was shot in the leg by another demonstrator, the outlet noted.
Last month, several protesters occupying the Atlanta Wendy’s told a Fox News crew that “police aren’t allowed here because they’re not here to protect us.”
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