ATLANTA - Deputy Atlanta Police Chief Celeste Murphy said her team tried to reach out to the organizers of a demonstration promoted on social media on Tuesday as a protest against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. She said it's move APD makes to get to a sense of the protestors' plans and march routes. But she said the goal is also to ensure the safety of demonstrators who want to assemble peacefully. But Murphy said it became clear the group had other intentions.
"We were immediately met resistance with that outreach, and it became obvious it was going to go in the direction that it did. This never was peaceful and obviously wasn't intended to be peaceful," said Murphy.
Deputy Chief Murphy said protestors gathered at around 8 p.m. at Woodruff Park, broke a window at the nearby police precinct, and targeted Atlanta police with fireworks as officers responded.
"We had an officer sprayed with mace and officers that were targeted with fireworks, frozen water bottles, and rocks," said Murphy, who manages field operations. "Fortunately, the officers received only minor injuries."
Demonstrators insisted they were only there to stand in solidarity with protestors in Wisconsin upset about the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot several times in front of his three children and is now paralyzed below the waist. Demonstrators have gathered every night to protest at police departments in Wisconsin.
Georgia State Patrol troopers arrived with a show of force that demonstrators described as excessive. But police said they had no choice but to protect themselves and the property nearby.
"Thankfully, we were able to get the situation under control which resulted in eight arrests, which range from charges of obstructions, disorderly conduct, and pedestrians in the roadway," said Murphy.
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None of the people arrested were charged with aggravated assault of a police officer. APD released the following information about the arrested protestors:
• Brian Wachtel- Covington, GA (DOB 10/95) Charges: Pedestrian Walking In Roadway (40-6-96) Atlanta City Jail
• Darren Gates- Conyers, GA (DOB 8/98) Charges: Pedestrian Walking In Roadway (40-6-96) Atlanta City Jail
• Amy Li- Alpharetta, GA (DOB 6/88) Charges: Obstruction, Disorderly Conduct (106-81.7, 106-81) Atlanta City Jail
• Ruby Hembree- Villa Rica, GA (DOB 11/99) Charges: Disorderly Conduct, Obstruction (106-81, 106-81.7) Atlanta City Jail
• Craig Lundi- Suwanee, GA (DOB 3/97) Charges: Disorderly Conduct (106-81) Atlanta City Jail
• Jan Rivers- Atlanta, GA (DOB 11/64) Charges: Pedestrian Walking in Roadway (40-6-96) Atlanta City Jail
• Tiana Funk- Alpharetta, GA (DOB 5/98) Charges: Pedestrian Walking in Roadway (40-6-96) Atlanta City Jail
• Michael Ajani- No known address Charges: Urinating in Public (106-130) Atlanta City jail