Georgia Unrest

Massive Protest in Atlanta Georgia Unfold


Logan Fast, Writer

Protests in Georgia rise following the news on Wednesday of a killing of an environmental activist near Atlanta. A state of emergency was declared by Gov. Brian Kemp on January 26th Thursday morning, and will continue through February 9th 2023. This prompted the arrival of over a thousand members of the Georgia National Guard to “subdue riot and unlawful assembly” according to Activists were reportedly throwing rocks at the Atlanta Police Foundation and setting off fireworks to the building. The National Guard’s arrival “may be necessary to avert the threatened danger and to maintain peace and good order in the particular circumstances,” read Kemp’s declaration. 

Police allege that Manuel “Tortuguita” Teran, 26, shot first, although activists who were present during the raid dispute authorities’ version of events. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, the officers involved were not wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting. In his State address on Wednesday, Kemp decried the protesters as “out-of-state rioters” who “tried to bring violence to the streets of our capital city.” He said it was “just the latest example of why here in Georgia, we’ll always back the blue.” Standoffs between protesters and police have escalated recently, with protesters using excessive force back at police. It’s reported that tear gas and rubber bullets were being used by police against protesters to remove them from property and equipment. Since December, a dozen protesters have been charged with domestic terrorism under a state law that can carry an up to 35 year prison term.

The New York Times reports that more potential protests are on the way after the Friday release of the video showing the murder of Tyre Nichols. The Atlanta Police Department said in a statement that its personnel were “closely monitoring the events in Memphis, and are prepared to support peaceful protests in our city.” They also added to their statement, “We understand and share in the outrage surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols,” the department added. “Police officers are expected to conduct themselves in a compassionate, competent, and constitutional manner and these officers failed Tyre, their communities and their profession.”