ATLANTA - Georgia's governor has declared a State of Emergency in Fulton County in response to violent protests over the killing of George Floyd by police, which took place in Atlanta Friday.
Gov. Kemp tweeted that he was sending National Guard troops to assist in restoring the peace.
"At the request of Mayor @KeishaBottoms & in consultation with public safety & emergency preparedness officials, I have issued a State of Emergency for Fulton County to activate as many as 500 @GeorgiaGuard troops to protect people & property in Atlanta. (1/2)," Kemp tweeted. "They will deploy immediately to assist @ga_dps, @GaDNRLE, @GA_Corrections & local law enforcement who are working tirelessly to subdue unlawful activity & restore peace. We will continue to make all state resources available to local leaders during this emergency situation. (2/2)."
Demonstrations initially started peaceful Friday, but turned violent. Extensive damage to patrol vehicles and buildings in the area of Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Marietta Street and looted several businesses in the same area. Several small fires were started, including fire set to an APD patrol vehicle. Water bottles, eggs and other items were hurled by demonstrators at police. At least three officers were injured in the mix.
The CNN Center suffered damage and vandalism, including broken glass and graffiti spray painted along its exterior.
Atlanta police said several arrests were made.
"So what I see happening in the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos. A protest has purpose," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said during a news briefing Friday night.
The incident involving Floyd sparked oputrage across wth country after video showed a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee on Floyd's neck while Floyd said he couldn't breathe. Floyd was pronounced dead at a hospital after being detained by police.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced charges Friday against Derek Chauvin, one of the officers involved in Floyd's death. He has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.