ATLANTA - A newly formed group called the Black Revolutionaries who are organizing a protest Friday, claim Atlanta police provoked protesters earlier this week and are too aggressive.
The armed group of about 20 members said they organized earlier this year after the Ahmaud Arbery killing.
They say their goal is to educate, uplift, and empower African Americans, and they do that while carrying visible weapons.
"We do not advocate violence. We are out there protecting our community. During my first protest, I was met with tear gas and rubber bullets," Navy veteran and black revolutionary member James Tillman said.
Tillman said his group is often misunderstood. Some of the members were present Tuesday when a rally in Downtown Atlanta turned violent. The Downtown precinct ended up damaged and graffiti was spray-painted on the building. Protesters launched fireworks at officers and police deployed tear gas as the unrest unfolded in Downtown Atlanta. Eight people were arrested, and several officers received minor injuries during the ruckus.
"Violence becomes therapy because no one is listening, but Tuesday we were protesting quietly and Atlanta police tear-gassed us for no reason," Founder "Spike" told FOX 5.
The group is organizing a protest rally Friday at 6 p.m. It will begin at The CNN Center building and end at the State Capital.
Atlanta police said they will be ready. The state said the governor has activated the Georgia National Guard. A spokesperson told FOX 5 the guard is on standby and will be called in if needed.
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