‘We had to close up the shop:’ Downtown Atlanta employees say violent protests affected their money

ATLANTA — Atlanta police released the charges against the six protestors arrested on Saturday evening in Downtown Atlanta.

Nadja Geier, 22, of Tennessee, Madeleine Feola, 22, of Washing, Graham Evatt, 20, Decatur, Georgia, Ivan Ferguson, 23, of Nevada, Francis Carroll, 22, of Main and Emily Murphy, 37, of Michigan are all facing charges for their involvement in this weekend’s violent protests.

Police say they vandalized businesses and set an Atlanta Police Department cruiser on fire.

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Channel 2′s Courtney Francisco spoke with local business employees on WSB Tonight at 11 p.m.

Lillian Copeland was working at a restaurant next door that closed during the chaos.

“It was supposed to be a busy night,” said Copeland. “They had a lot of reservations on the books and everything. So, I expected to make, you know, some money.”

Another local business employee said the closing of his job affected his money.

“I work right there at the local CVS,” said Sam McClendon. “We had to close up the shop. It’s my job. This is how I make my money, and that’s affecting me.”

A group supporting the protestors arrested, ‘Stop Cop City’, said they targeted businesses that support the Atlanta Police Foundation. ‘Stop Cop City’ also posted on social media that vandalism is not violence since it did not involve hurting any people physically.

Saturday’s arrests brought the total number of arrested protesters in the city to 13 in just one week. One person was also killed.

The movement they are part of aims to stop the City of Atlanta from building a police and fire training facility on a piece of wooded property in Dekalb County.

Police began added terrorism charges against those associated with the cause when they say explosives and vandalism became a tactic demonstrators use.

Marlon Kautz is an organizer with the group that bails protesters out of jail, Atlanta Solidarity Fund.

Kautz told Channel 2 last week that the protesters have done nothing to resemble terrorism.


“The police reports, there no where near sufficient to prove that these people have done anything resembling terrorism,” said Kuntz.

Last Wednesday, the cause turned deadly as law enforcement tried to remove protestors camping out in the woods where the public safety center would be located.

Officers claim Manuel Teran shot a Georgia State Patrol Trooper. Officers nearby shot back and killed Teran.

Protestors said they want to see body camera footage, but Georgia Bureau of Investigation said there is none. The GBI did provide a photo of a handgun that they claim was Teran’s. They say the bullet taken from the Trooper’s wound matched that gun.

Businesses targeted in downtown Atlanta Saturday are boarded up and secured.

Truist Bank said it will be operating with normal business hours Monday.

No word, yet, from Wells Fargo.

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