ATLANTA - Atlanta's mayor said the daily and sometimes multi-location protests are putting an enormous strain on the police department.
"Officers and staff have now worked approximately 6,000 hours in overtime to protect the demonstrators and the residents and guests of our city," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a news conference Monday morning.
Reed was joined by Atlanta Police Chief Georgia Turner to discuss how the city of Atlanta has reacted following the recent shootings in Dallas, Louisiana and Minnesota and what the plans are for future protests.
"As a part of our response, the Atlanta Police Department canceled all off days, went on 12 hour shifts and had every available officer, including administrative officers, working to keep the protestors safe and to keep the city of Atlanta safe," Reed said. "For that they deserve and extraordinary amount of credit for their work.”
Mayor Reed said more than 15,000 people in total, over the last several days, came to march, which included families, representatives, community organizations and dozens of faith leaders.
"The overwhelming consensus was that the event was peaceful and largely positive."
Reed said it wasn't until Saturday that a "different type of protest" started to happen. That's when police were forced to start making arrests.
Mayor Reed also asked the protesters to be respectful of the police officers, who are working hard to serve and protect the community.
"“Every single officer at the Atlanta Police Department has a family who cares about them, the same way you do. And there are such things as copy cats. So, when our officers are out on the streets providing protection for your protests, the very least that we can do is to treat them with the dignity and respect that they deserve and the dignity and respect that you are asking for during your protests."
APP USERS: Watch the entire news conference here
Participants in Sunday night's protests told FOX 5 they are planning another event Monday night in Buckhead.
Fulton County Chairman John Eaves, Police Chief Gary Stiles, along with religious leaders, also held a news conference Monday morning. The goal of the briefing was to "help families of officers cope with their loss and to provide a lasting symbol of recognition for officers' life of service."