“Show our strength as One Atlanta” Mayor Bottoms calls on communities to use voices to heal

FULL SPEECH: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms give impassioned plea for protesters to go home

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued a new statement Saturday afternoon, a day after peaceful protests to honor George Floyd turned violent.

Bottoms continued her strong message from Friday night when she give impassioned plea for the crowds downtown to go home and stop the violence.

“What we saw overnight was not a protest, and it was not Atlanta. We as a people are strongest when we use our voices to heal our city instead of using our hands to tear it down. We know our citizens are angry. We are angry and we want justice. If we are to enact change in this nation, I implore everyone to channel their anger and sorrow into something more meaningful and effective through non-violent activism.

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“What started out as a peaceful demonstration, quickly turned into mayhem and unnecessary destruction, and ultimately an assault on businesses that are already struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic."

We will bring you live, up-to-date coverage on the George Floyd protests in Atlanta and their aftermath on Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m.

Bottoms concluded her statement focusing on the cleanup efforts happening throughout the day in Buckhead and downtown.

“This morning we began mobilizing City leadership and resources to help our city recover from the devastating events that took place last night. The Department of Public Works deployed crews early this morning to begin cleaning up our streets in the downtown and Buckhead areas of the city and our public safety officials are working to keep our businesses and communities safe. The Department of Transportation is working to remove graffiti from public buildings in those areas as well. We also coordinated with neighboring jurisdictions to provide additional public safety resources and with the Governor’s office to provide assistance from the National Guard to help with our recovery.

“Now more than ever, I am calling on our communities to come together to show our strength as One Atlanta through prayer and working together to restore and heal our city as an example for the nation.”

Channel 2 Action News covered the peaceful protests when they started around 4 p.m. Friday. Our coverage continued as the protests took a violent, chaotic turn throughout the night and into Saturday morning.

Channel 2 Action News carried a news conference held last night along by Bottoms with Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, city leaders and rappers Killer Mike and T.I.

Bottoms had strong words for those who were burning cars, breaking windows, throwing knives at police officers, defacing public property and looting buildings in downtown Atlanta.

TIMELINE: How peaceful protests turned violent Friday night in Atlanta