Gov. Kemp deploys up to 3,000 National Guardsmen to help keep the peace

Gov. Brian Kemp talks about state's response to protests underway across the metro

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp has signed an executive order to deploy up to 3,000 National Guardsmen in response to protests.

The initial order allowed up to 1,500 National Guardsmen to help keep the peace in Atlanta Saturday night. But the state of emergency issued by Kemp doubled the number of troops available.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mike Winne learned 100 Humvees will patrol Atlanta after a night of unrest and looting that started Friday and lasted into the early morning.

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Gov. Kemp tweeted about the order Saturday night, saying:

After numerous discussions with state and local leaders, I have signed an order authorizing the activation of up to 3,000 National Guard troops statewide ahead of several planned protests on Sunday, May 31. These highly trained citizen soldiers will partner will law enforcement to preserve peace and protect Georgians in every corner of our great state.”

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has issued a curfew for the City of Atlanta starting at 9 p.m. Saturday after a night of violent protests rocked the city Friday.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes covered a protest in front of the governor’s mansion, where dozens of state troopers and national guard were stationed.

We’re working to learn more about this developing story on Channel 2 Action News.

Friday Night Protests Turn Destructive

What started as a peaceful protest Friday afternoon condemning the death of a Minneapolis man at the hands of police quickly turned violent.

George Floyd died on Memorial Day after an officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes. That officer, Derek Chauvin, has since been arrested on murder charges.

As tensions rose in Atlanta Friday night, protesters clashed with police and burned several police cars. They also smashed windows and looted local businesses.

On Friday night, mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms delivered a passionate, angry speech to protesters, demanding that they go home and saying the violence was not in the spirit of the city of Atlanta.

TIMELINE: How peaceful protests turned violent Friday night in Atlanta