Protest Over Officer-Involved Shooting Damages Union City Jail
The south Fulton jail in Union City was left damaged Wednesday night after a protest over the shooting of a teenager.
Civil rights leaders and dozens of activists gathered for a rally in front of the Union City Hall. The protesters were upset over the shooting death of 19-year-old Ariston Waiters.
Police say that it began as a peaceful protest, but they say things turned ugly when news cameras left.
Authorities allege that some of the protestors spray-painted Union City public property and used vulgar language directed toward police. They say some protestors used the phrase "off the pigs" -- a threat to kill officers and that two men threw a brick through the front door of the South Fulton Municipal Regional Jail. The brick lodged in the wall across the lobby.
At the post office, some of the protestors hauled down the American flag and set it on fire, stirring passions in the small south Fulton community.
Rally organizers said they had nothing to do with the damage. Police confirmed that it appeared the vandals were two Caucasian men with masks. Organizers of the rally have offered a $5,000 reward to help find the perpetrators.
The protest was held in wake of the fatal shooting of Waiters on Dec. 14. Police were breaking up a fight on Hickory Lane when they say an officer got involved in an altercation with Waiters, leading to the shooting.
"I want justice for what's been done to my son," said the victim's mother, Freda Waiters. "I'm so hurt because my son was gunned down like an animal. He did not deserve that.
Protesters claim the young man was unarmed and shot in the back. Edward Dubose, president of the Georgia NAACP told protesters he was "tired of our young brothers" being shot and killed by police.
The protesters claim they're getting stone-walled by city leaders and want the Fulton County district attorney to get involved in the case.
"As a community, we demand and deserve a response. We demand and deserve some answers. We demand and deserve justice," said civil rights leader Michael Langford.
The door to the jail has been repaired. The investigation into the shooting of Waiters is now being handled by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.