ATLANTA — Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Atlanta once again Monday night, this time throughout the Buckhead area.
The latest round of protests marked the fifth evening of demonstrations since the police-involved shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. The aftermath of both shootings was 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.
Protesters gathered around 7 p.m. Monday outside the MARTA station near Lenox Square mall.
"It's one thing to sit in your living room and complain, but the other thing is to bring your body down and do something," protester Renee Atwood said.
The group took the march from the Lenox MARTA station to Peachtree Road where they met a state patrol roadblock.
But the group did not stop there, turning down Peachtree Road where they sat in the roadway, stopping the bustle of Buckhead.
Organizers and protestors say there's a reason they chose Lenox Road.
"This is the first major protest on this side of town and we know they care a lot about this side of town. So that means we're prepared to deal with some intensity," Atwood said.
"I would venture to say that most of the people that live in this area do not feel that this impacts their life in any way shape form or fashion, and it does," protester Brie Smith told Channel 2’s Carl Willis.
At one point, vocal leaders called on white participants to step out front.
"If you're here to fight for the validity for black lives make some noise," one organizer said.
And many of them later decided to willfully be arrested.
"It's something I believe in. So it's very possible. It might be happening," another protester said.
Protesters say they're speaking up because they believe silence is akin to violence.
“We've done this for too long in this country. It's time that we hold our officials accountable,” protester Kevin Moran said.
"Not all cops are bad, not all whites are racists, not all blacks are thugs, we bleed the same blood, team love," protester Brie Jones said.
A total of 16 people were arrested: 13 males, 3 females. One person was also taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for a pre-existing injury.
They are expected to be released on a signature bond.
By 9:30 p.m., protesters had made their way to the Governor’s Mansion on West Paces Ferry Road. Hundreds of people lined the sidewalk across the street from the mansion and staged a sit-in.
Protesters told Channel 2’s Matt Johnson that they weren’t leaving until the mayor and police chief showed up to talk to them.
Around 11:30 p.m. Atlanta Police Chief George Turner arrived outside the Governor's Mansion and a short time later Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed showed up, to talk with protesters.
After about a 45 minute meeting with Black Lives Matter organizers, Reed and Turner came out of a police vehicle said they would be meeting with the group on Monday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Cox Media Group