ATLANTA - A group marched through downtown Atlanta Friday in response to recent police shootings.
The march began at Centennial Olympic Park at 6 p.m. and organizers expected more than 1,000 people to show up. Groups started gathering hours earlier.
Protesters ended their standoff with police nearly nine hours after protests began Friday afternoon.
These events come after recent frustration over the police-involved shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota.The aftermath of both shootings were captured on cellphone video.
A sniper opened fire on police officers in Dallas on Thursday as a peaceful protest against police violence came to an end.
NAACP march organizers in Atlanta said they expect other groups, like Black Lives Matter, to merge with Friday's march. The organization said it will not tolerate any violence.
MINUTE BY MINUTE:
ATL waking to peaceful morning after largely peaceful demonstrations on streets overnight. LIVE report in 5 min pic.twitter.com/WAMOrmMGDW— Steve Gehlbach (@SteveGWSB) July 9, 2016
Protesters remain on Williams Street as GSP troopers hold the line to keep them off I-75/85.
Atlanta police chief George Turner says they have not had to make an arrest related to Friday's demonstration.
Channel 2's Aaron Diamant said the crowd is thinning at Williams Street.
Troopers continue to to block the entrance to the connector.
The group appears to be marching towards Centennial Olympic Park.
Police start to line Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd as protesters stand their ground.
Channel 2 Action News spoke to the driver of the truck that protesters climbed on top of.
Chris Golden said he was on his normal route when he got stuck. He said he was not scared when the protesters started to climb up.
A group of protesters are yelling at police police on Peachtree Street near the Westin hotel.
The crowd is dispersing at Williams Street.
Police are setting up another blockade on Williams Street.
"If we ain't got no justice then you ain't got no peace." A crowd moves down Williams St away from connector. pic.twitter.com/oPbbzEJnNC— Matt Johnson (@MJohnsonWSB) July 9, 2016
Diamant said the truck is gone and the situation seems to have calmed down.
Channel 2's Aaron Diamant said protesters refuse to let the tow truck pass.
Police are trying to create a buffer between the protesters and the truck.
Channel 2's Aaron Diamant said police are trying to get to a tow truck on the Williams Street bridge to connector.
Demonstrators are surrounding the truck and starting to throw bottles.
The truck is trying to get to a tractor trailer that is stuck further down Williams Street.
Channel 2's Tom Regan said traffic is starting to move near the downtown connector.
He said many people parked their cars and left because they could not move.
These protestors in front of the downtown connector say they have no intention of leaving. pic.twitter.com/iJk9emiwYc— Matt Johnson (@MJohnsonWSB) July 9, 2016
Channel 2's Erica Byfield talked to a demonstrator who said they will stay out for "as long as it takes," and they want things to remain peaceful.
Byfield said she saw police heading away from where she was on Ivan Allen.
Mayor Reed said that some may be encouraging violence at Peachtree Street and International Blvd.
There are a group of individuals at P'tree & International that need to move. We have intelligence that some are encouraging violence.— Kasim Reed (@KasimReed) July 9, 2016
Channel 2's Erica Byfield at the intersection of Williams Street and Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard said it appears like people are starting to get tired.
Groups are starting to sit down in the street and on the sidewalks.
Byfield said there are police on the scene in their cars.
Police continue to block a group of protesters from walking onto the interstate.
Groups have backed off from the ramp, but continue to stand out in the street.
Channel 2's Matt Johnson said the scene has calmed down from a few hours ago.
Channel 2's Aaron Diamant spoke with Mayor Kasim Reed who addressed protesters' concerns about a body found hanging in Piedmont Park earlier this week.
Reed said there is no evidence of foul play.
Mayor assures Atlanta protesters there's no evidence of foul play in Piedmont Park hanging- still trying to notify family of suicide. #wsbtv— Jodie Fleischer (@jodiewsb) July 9, 2016
The group is continuing to disperse from a standoff with police at Williams Street.
Channel 2's Jason Durden said traffic is clearing on the connector northbound, but still backed up southbound.
Reed said he wants to make sure everyone is safe. He says that they have a right to peacefully protest, but he does not want them to get hurt by getting onto the interstate.
Mayor Reed says Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would never takeover a freeway. @wsbtv— Carol Sbarge (@carolsbargeWSB) July 9, 2016
"Let's be the best version of ourselves." -Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed— Justin Farmer (@JustinFarmerWSB) July 9, 2016
Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed shows up on the scene of protests in downtown Atlanta.
Police are taking the tractor-trailer away.
There is a smaller group toe-to-toe with police at the entrance to the connector.
Another group is further down Williams Street, surrounding and on top of a tractor trailer.
Channel 2's Aaron Diamant said the situation is beginning to get a little tense.
Some protesters started climbing on top of a tractor trailer that is stopped due to the march.
Troopers have moved to a ramp near Piedmont Road.
Drivers cannot get onto the ramp at Williams Street.
Channel 2's Erica Byfield said things are calm towards the back of the line on Williams Street.
Byfield said there are a few children on the scene.
Channel 2's Jason Durden said that it appears marchers are starting to walk back towards the civil rights museum.
Some protesters are starting to disperse.
Marchers told Channel 2's Aaron Diamant that they do not condone violence.
HAPPENING NOW: Some starting to disperse from the Downtown Connector .. Many saying they're going to Piedmont Park pic.twitter.com/pUQGj4Gy3U— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) July 9, 2016
Today we have had less than ten people arrested during what has been a peaceful protest. We urge anyone protesting not to enter the highway.— Kasim Reed (@KasimReed) July 9, 2016
Protestors are trying to get onto the connector from Williams Street.
Protestors attempted to get on 75/85 from Williams St and PD & Troopers not letting that happen. pic.twitter.com/c6a5xAW1qA— Jason Durden (@JasonDurdenWSB) July 9, 2016
Two views of current police-protester standoff at downtown connector, from above and from inside the crowd. pic.twitter.com/Q8QJDwhyId— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) July 9, 2016
Hundreds of people are trying to get onto the downtown connector. Police are not letting them through.
Police are blocking protesters from getting onto the downtown connector.
BREAKING: Authorities blocking protestors from getting on the interstate. pic.twitter.com/XW2HcvsWQw— Matt Johnson (@MJohnsonWSB) July 9, 2016
Backup arriving. pic.twitter.com/wngoF4OWz2— Matt Johnson (@MJohnsonWSB) July 9, 2016
The marchers make it back to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
The group marching appears to be heading back towards the civil rights museum.
The group walked in a circle around Philips Arena.
Channel 2's Jason Durden said the march remained peaceful.
Drivers are trying to avoid the marchers that walk through the streets. S
Some of the marchers have moved to the sidewalk.
Different groups are marching on Marietta Street, Centennial Olympic Park Drive, Baker Street and Ivan Allen.
Another group is back at the civil rights center where the initial march began.
Traffic in the area of Centennial Olympic Park Dr and Baker St NE is at a standstill as the March moves through pic.twitter.com/ZQB59MKDhH— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) July 8, 2016
The 2 different crowds continue to march on Marietta, Centennial Olympic Park Dr, Baker and Ivan Allen. pic.twitter.com/VdKZcTsIap— Jason Durden (@JasonDurdenWSB) July 8, 2016
The group reaches the intersection of Park Avenue West and Marietta Street, then turns onto Baker Street.
The second group is gathered at Centennial Olympic Park.
GSP is gathered at the capitol.
A group is heading down Forsyth Street towards Luckie Street.
Some demonstrators brought their children to the march. pic.twitter.com/PSOjVETPbi— Matt Johnson (@MJohnsonWSB) July 8, 2016
Police put up barricades at the State Capitol.
Channel 2's Mark Winne spotted Georgia State Patrol troopers at the capitol.
Hundreds make it to Andrew Young International, where traffic is stopped.
Channel 2's Matt Johnson said there are some drivers who were not frustrated by the traffic.
Hundreds have made it to the intersection of Andrew Young and Centennial Park - and thousands follow behind them. pic.twitter.com/FqBtpyZuZE— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) July 8, 2016
"What's a 20 second delay? We are talking about people's lives." Some drivers not frustrated by traffic. pic.twitter.com/3Ay3s7nJei— Matt Johnson (@MJohnsonWSB) July 8, 2016
The group at Centennial Park gathers to listen to speeches.
Another group continues to march through the streets.
One group stays back at the CNN Center and another group marches down Marietta Street onto Forsyth Street.
Part of group staying back near CNN Center. pic.twitter.com/mIHaFmPFwt— Jason Durden (@JasonDurdenWSB) July 8, 2016
A group of marchers links arms and walks out onto Marietta Street.
The group is heading in the direction of the State Capitol.
Channel 2's Jason Durden estimates the crowd is around a few thousand.
Channel 2's Jason Durden says the only street that is blocked is Centennial Olympic Drive between Marietta Street and Philips Arena.
Channel 2's Erica Byfield said marchers are trying to cool off from the march in the hot weather.
Byfield said people are still holding their signs and talking about the experience.
There are now two different groups, one in front of the CNN Center, and one at Centennial Olympic Park.
After about a mile walk through downtown, the group starts to gather back at Centennial Olympic Park.
The marchers remain peaceful as they prepare to listen to speakers.
The front of the group reaches Marietta Street in front of the CNN Center.
The group makes its way past Skyview Atlanta.
Marchers head back towards Centennial Olympic Park.
Channel 2's Matt Johnson said there are thousands of people in the street.
The group reaches Andrew Young International Boulevard.
Marchers said they will make their way back to Centennial Olympic Park near the CNN Center.
The group makes its way down Peachtree Street heading south.
Channel 2's Jason Durden said the group continues to grow and stretches from the civil rights center to Peachtree Street.
Durden said the streets are not closed, so it is affecting the traffic flow.
Channel 2's Aaron Diamant said that law enforcement is ready to respond, but the march remains peaceful.
Diamant said people are adding to the group as it marches through downtown.
Protesters marching down Peachtree Street a few minutes ago. pic.twitter.com/ojSozmbBhx— Brian Ferguson (@BFergusonWSB) July 8, 2016
The large group starts it's march from the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Channel 2's Tom Jones said it looks like there are around 500 people.
Marchers start out on Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard.
Organizers said the march will continue to the CNN Center.
Protestors have now moved onto Ivan Allen Jr Blvd preparing to march. pic.twitter.com/7SxD2srUHQ— Jason Durden (@JasonDurdenWSB) July 8, 2016
BREAKING - The march is underway from Centennial Olympic Park down Ivan Allen. pic.twitter.com/MI1gzctIQT— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) July 8, 2016
The crowd grows to several hundred people as police look on nearby.
The group battles heat and humidity as it prepares to march.
Protesters take part in a moment of silence at they prepare to march.
Channel 2's Tom Jones heard speakers addressing the group and heard the group chanting, "Know justice, know peace."
Hundreds standing in the heat & humidity listening to speakers. “At some point, we’ve got to do more than march.” pic.twitter.com/JGAj8s9sGh— Matt Johnson (@MJohnsonWSB) July 8, 2016
Hundreds of people gathered outside the civil rights center.
Organizers said the march would not start until 6 p.m. due to the heat.
Channel 2's Matt Johnson said there was not a heavy police presence at the center.
Groups began gathering at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights around 4 p.m. The group had nearly doubled in size by 4:30.
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