Dozens protesting police shootings block traffic on downtown connector

ATLANTA — Atlanta police say protesters broke through Atlanta police and Georgia State Patrol barricades and blocked the downtown connector at Peachtree Street late Thursday night.

Georgia State Patrol told a Channel 2 Action News photographer anyone on the connector not in a car would be arrested.

Hundreds gathered earlier in the evening in downtown Atlanta for a planned march to Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta. The protest was sparked by the police shootings in Baton Rouge and St. Paul, Minnesota.

[READ: NAACP organizes march in downtown Atlanta]

"Anger was first, then you get to a point where something has to be done. Anger is not going to resolve this matter,” said Atlanta demonstrator Eric Shepherd.

Alton Sterling was selling CD's Tuesday outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge. Graphic cell phone video shows the officer involved shooting that killed Sterling. The officers can be seen in the video on top of him before shots were fired.

Philando Castile was shot after a traffic stop Wednesday night in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, broadcast the aftermath of the shooting from inside the car on Facebook. Castile later died.

Atlanta is one of many cities across the nation with police protests in response to the death of Castile and Sterling.

"Same thing over and over. It's kind of numbing it's… I mean, you cry, but nothing ever happens nothing ever change,” said demonstrator Jazsmine Gordon.

One man vowed to make a change.

"I'm tired of just sitting in my room, getting mad about it," said demonstrator Paul Demerritt. "I feel it's my duty to go out and show solidarity with people."

Atlanta police say they will respect protesters right to assemble as long as they are peaceful and lawful.