• Black Lives Matter protesters meet with Atlanta's mayor

    By: Erica Byfield

    Updated:
    ATLANTA - A week after hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside the Georgia governor's mansion, leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement met with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
     
    Several nights of protests in Atlanta were held after high-profile police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. 
     
    Reed gave an update on his meeting Monday with leaders of recent protests, including Black Lives Matter.
     
    The mayor agreed to meet with the groups that say they have many concerns that they want to address with the mayor. 
     
    One of those concerns is the relationship between police and the black community.
     
    Protests in Atlanta have been largely peaceful, but are costing the city thousands of dollars in police overtime.
     
    After Atlanta protesters took their campaign through Buckhead last week, Reed and Atlanta Police Chief George Turner met with them and agreed to Monday’s meeting.
     
    They spent two hours together. 
     
     

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    When they emerged, the mayor told Channel 2’s Erica Byfield that he and his team had a lot of concrete topics to discuss, like mental health checks and gentrification concerns.

    Not everyone could get into the closed door meeting, so they used songs and chants in the lobby and outside to make their presence known.

    Some even donned shirts that read ‘Brats.’

    Last week, Atlanta's former mayor Andrew Young called some of the protesters, who spent five days walking through the streets, "unlovable little brats.”

    He later apologized.

    When the meeting ended, Atlanta's mayor took questions for about 30 minutes.

    “Some other thoughts I thought were pretty powerful: one of the advocates recommended that we have mandatory mental health annual screenings for our officers,” Reed said.

    It was then Byfield learned why pop star Usher Raymond was there on Monday.

    Channel 2 Action News saw him try to calm down one very vocal group trying to get into the meeting.

    The mayor said the singer offered to help bridge the line of communication between city leaders and the youth.

    The leader of the city’s Black Lives Matter movement left the meeting encouraged.

    “We want our officers to engage with us, be more friendly, we want them to escalate versus escalating,” Sir Maejor, with Black Lives Matter, said.

    The mayor said the group also talked about a host of related topics, like rotating officer beats and body cameras.

    Reed added that one group of advocates gave him 25 written demands.

    “Me and my senior team, along with the city council, are going to determine which are necessary for us and appropriate for us to respond,” Reed said.

     

     

     

     

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