ATLANTA - The conversation started by several nights of visible protests in the streets of metro Atlanta has taken the next step.
Thousands of people in metro Atlanta hit the streets for several nights in a row demanding change in the way police interact with people of color. The demonstrations came after two deadly police shootings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.
Friday, some Georgia Lawmakers, with representatives of Black Lives Matter at their sides, begged protestors to exercise their right to vote if they want meaningful change.
“Voting and elections matter. If you are upset because the criminal justice system is messed up, vote out the judges in the criminal justice system. If you are upset because the DA won't indict and take down these police officers that are shooting and killing our black men, vote the DA out,” said Rep. Erica Thomas, (D) - District 19.
Lawmakers said all of the anger and frustration protestors have against police is counterproductive.
“We don’t need to be out here whole we are protesting, throwing rocks at the cops. We don’t need to be out here spitting in the face of our cops,” said Thomas.
Leaders of two different Black Lives Matters groups, who had been on the front lines protesting, appeared to be on-board with coming into the Statehouse and affecting real change.
“If you want real effective change, if you want change that is tangible, you have to get involved and get engaged,” said Sir Maejor, Black Lives Matter, Greater Atlanta.
“We are here to stand strong and support folks who are in the streets, who are at the capital and who are in the meetings. We are here to bring everybody closely linked together,” said Tiffany R.Smith, Black Lives Matter Atlanta.