Atlanta protests over Jacob Blake take destructive turn in downtown; 8 arrested

Protest damage in Atlanta

ATLANTA — Demonstrators started to get destructive Tuesday night as they took to the streets of Atlanta to protest the shooting by a police officer of an unarmed black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Jacob Blake was walking away from officers and went to his car when he was then shot several times in his back.

His family announced Tuesday evening that Blake is unlikely to walk again.

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Protesters gathered at Woodruff Park on Tuesday night in downtown Atlanta to show their support for Blake.The protests eventually turned violent.

Shortly after gathering, protesters took to the street and marched to the Atlanta police Zone 5 precinct, where police protesters shattered a window and spray-painted the walls.

On Wednesday, police held a news conference about their response. Police said protesters threw frozen water bottles, fireworks and rocks at officers. They even used pepper spray against them.

"We immediately realized that it was not peaceful," police said of the gathering. "The organizer was not welcoming at all, and we immediately realized that their intentions were to be destructive."

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Officers in riot gear stepped in and broke up the crowd. Atlanta police arrested eight people.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Ferandes talked to Hannah Gebresilassie with the Promote Positivity movement.

She said she can't speak for anyone protesting Tuesday night because she wasn't there, but she understands why people were so upset.

“We’re not looking at the underlying issue – the underlying cause of why things are boiling to a point to where instances in Atlanta like last night are happening,” Gebresilassie said. “I don’t want to see our buildings and our families and friends get hurt... At the same time, I don’t wanna see black people dying at the hands of police brutality anymore.”

Police said that none of the officers were seriously hurt and no one went to the hospital.

They are expecting more events this weekend as they see an uprising of frustration over what happened in Wisconsin.


Protests in Wisconsin after Police shoot Black man