Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed discusses meeting with protest leaders

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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed met with some leaders of recent protests at a closed-door meeting inside City Hall Monday morning . 

"I want the public to know that there were real recommendations and things that should be considered during this meeting today," Mayor Reed said at a news conference following the meeting. 

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Mayor Reed said he was given 25 written demands from the protesters, which he described as "concrete initiatives." The recommendations were thoughtful and serious, according to Reed, but he said he disagreed with a number of them. 

"They suggested that we engage in the divesting strategy where we divest from the 52 percent of our general fund budget that we're spending on our law enforcement budget and direct it to other areas," Mayor Reed said. "That was a thoughtful recommendation. It's one that I will probably not do because my officers need every possible resource." 

Reed said good notes were taken on the 25 recommendations and he plans to respond publicly. 

"We're not going to play games," he said. "If I don't agree, I'm going to say I don't agree." 

Ahead of the meeting, some protesters gathered outside City Hall, demanding Mayor Reed meet with them in public. 

A number of entertainers showed up to City Hall Monday morning, including Usher. FOX 5 was there as the singer walked out of City Hall and spoke with protesters outside the building.

Reed said Usher was helping him bridge both sides. 

The City Hall meeting follows a series of protests on the streets of Atlanta involving a number of groups with ties to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

For five days in a row, protesters upset over police shootings held emotional rallies and marches in Atlanta. Those protests culminated with a raucous sit-in outside the Governor's mansion last week.

In an effort to calm the protests, Mayor Reed agreed to meet with them Monday morning. In exchange, he asked for a cooling off period, a temporary halt to the disruptions.

However, some of the groups said they had no deal in place with the Mayor. Last Friday a small group of protesters returned to the streets, marching and blocking traffic. Saturday saw at least two more rallies, a silent march and a protest at Underground Atlanta. Things turned ugly there when a driver tried to get by the protesters who were blocking Peachtree Street.

Protesters have vowed to keep marching and disrupting the city unless their demands are met. Because there are so many groups involved, it's hard to know exactly what it will take to satisfy the protesters. But many of the groups point to similar items. They want to see an end to police profiling, elimination of what they call over policing of African-American neighborhoods and new investigations into a number of past officer involved shooting cases.  Also brought up by the protesters are other non criminal justice related concerns, such as slowing gentrification, providing adequate affordable housing, shoring up the Atlanta Schools, an increase in youth jobs programs, adding activities at local recreation centers and improving area parks.