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It’s spreading: Leftists riot in Atlanta, Richmond, other US cities in solidarity with Portland militants

As the profile grows for lawless, left-wing rioters in Portland, Oregon, and their nightly attacks on law enforcement, their comrades across the United States are beginning to follow suit and perpetrate violence and mayhem in other cities.

What are the details?

Seattle, of course, has been a hotbed of leftism and is well known as the city that allowed the deadly “CHOP” autonomous zone to exist for several weeks following the death of George Floyd. But anarchy and destruction have resumed in the Emerald City — although not without detractors making their voices heard, too.

Content warning: Language:

In Austin, Texas, a driver told police he shot a Black Lives Matter protester Saturday who pointed at weapon at him. That protester, Garrett Foster, died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Content warning: Language:

Violent uprisings are hitting other cities, too.

Richmond

More than 20 people were arrested after a weekend of rioting in Richmond, Virginia, that included fires and smashed windows, the Associated Press reported.

Some participants said the lawlessness was in support of Portland rioters — it had even been billed as “Richmond Stands with Portland” — and Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith noted his department saw a flyer calling for demonstrations with a tone of “intimidation” and “wanting to produce fear,” the AP reported.

Smith said the ages of those arrested ranged from 17 to 45 and charges included trespassing, riot with a dangerous weapon, and transport of a loaded rifle within city limits, the outlet said.

“The city of Richmond is open and welcomes those who would like to come here in expression of their First Amendment rights,” Smith said, according to the AP. “However, we have to take action when we know that violence is coming.”

Atlanta

Rioters vandalized an immigration building in Atlanta over the weekend, leaving broken windows, spray paint, and scorch marks courtesy of fireworks,
WXIA-TV reported.

The building houses the federal immigration court as well as the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the station said.

More from WXIA:

Several
videos were posted online by at least one group, using the twitter handle @AcidVitalism, was claiming the vandalism was “in solidarity with the freedom fighters of the #PortlandProtests.”

The hashtags #PortlandProtests and #PortlandSolidarity have been used online in reference to the protests against federal law enforcement in recent days in Portland, Oregon.

Additional posts from the group later in the day on Sunday also indicated solidarity with recent demonstrations in other cities, including Seattle, Oakland and Austin.

The group claiming responsibility told the station Sunday the incident was organized with an encrypted app group chat.

“In solidarity with Portland last night, a crowd gathered in Atlanta outside the DHS/ICE office. These agencies are directly responsible for ruining untold numbers of lives, and for the violent policing of the Portland protests,” an email from the group said, in part, according to WXIA. “We will fight with everything we’ve got against [President Donald] Trump’s private police force, against authoritarian and despotic governance. What the police produce, above all, are their own grave-diggers. Their fall and the victory of the ungovernable are equally inevitable.”

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Georgia Gov. Kemp sues Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms over her mask mandate

Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is suing Keisha Bottoms, the Democratic mayor of Atlanta, over the city’s continued enforcement of a mask mandate that was banned Wednesday by Kemp’s executive order, NBC News reported.

Kemp’s executive order nullified mask requirements in Atlanta and 14 other localities. Kemp encourages people to wear masks in public, but opposes any measure by local authorities that is more restrictive than what the state has imposed.

“This lawsuit is on behalf of the Atlanta business owners and their hardworking employees who are struggling to survive during these difficult times,” Kemp wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “These men and women are doing their very best to put food on the table for their families while local elected officials shutter businesses and undermine economic growth.

“Just like sending in the [Georgia National Guard] to protect those living in our capital city from crime and violence, I refuse to sit back and watch as disastrous policies threaten the lives and livelihoods of our citizens,” Kemp continued. “We will fight to stop these reckless actions and put people over pandemic politics.”

After Kemp issued the order, Bottoms made it clear that she did not intend for the city of Atlanta to comply. Even after the lawsuit, Bottoms remained steadfast on the issue. From NBC News:

Kemp issued his executive order, which banned more than a dozen local governments from mandating that masks be worn in public, on Wednesday. A spokesman for Atlanta’s mayor had said that the mayor’s order remained in effect, that the city would be guided by data and science, and that “masks save lives.”

Bottoms was defiant after Kemp’s lawsuit Thursday, noting that 3,014 Georgians have died and that she and her family are among those who have tested positive.

“A better use of taxpayer money would be to expand testing and contact tracing,” she said. “If being sued by the State is what it takes to save lives in Atlanta, then we will see them in court.”

Georgia, like a number of other states, has recorded record numbers of new COVID-19 cases in recent days, although none of these places has seen sort of fatality rate that was seen in New York City during the peak of the epidemic in the United States.

In response, an increasing number of state and local leaders, Republican and Democrat, are mandating masks in public in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

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Grieving father of slain Atlanta 8-year-old blasts killers: ‘They say black lives matter. You killed your own’

The father of a young girl who was killed near a protest zone in Atlanta denounced the protesters whose violent conflict took his daughter’s life over the weekend, WSB-TV reported.

“They say black lives matter,” Secoriya Williamson, the father of Secoriea Turner, said. “You killed your own this time. … You killed a child. She didn’t do nothing to nobody.”

Secoriea’s mother, Chamaine Turner, broke down as she attempted to speak about her daughter during a press conference.

“She was only 8 years old,” Turner said, WSB reported. “She would have been on Tik Tok dancing on her phone, just got done eating. We understand the frustration of Rayshard Brooks. We didn’t have anything to do with that. We’re innocent. My baby didn’t mean no harm.”

Secoriea was shot and killed Saturday night while riding in the car with her mother and one other person in a parking lot near the burned-down Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed weeks earlier.

The site has been the location of protests since Brooks’ death, and just before Turner was killed, the driver of the car she was in tried to turn into a parking lot that had been blocked off by protesters. At that point they were confronted by a “group of armed individuals.”

Someone fired into the car, hitting Secoriea. It’s unclear what sparked the gunfire at this time. She died at Atlanta Medical Center.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms, who earned national attention for her stern words toward rioters in the wake of George Floyd’s death, condemned the shooting and called for an end to the lawlessness.

“Enough is enough,” Bottoms said, according to WSB. “If you want people to take us seriously and you don’t want us to lose this movement, we can’t lose each other.”

Authorities are seeking information from the public about who might be involved in the shooting. Bottoms said there were at least two shooters.


Heartbroken parents of slain 8-year-old have message for her killers: ‘You killed a child’

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Atlanta mayor airs frustrations after 8-year-old is killed: ‘You can’t blame this on a police officer’

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms expressed her frustration with violence in her city after an 8-year-old girl was shot and killed, saying that criminal community members are doing more damage to the city than the police officers that have been so vehemently protested against, according to The Daily Wire.

What happened? Secoriea Turner, 8, was killed on Saturday after a group of people shot at the car she was in—not far from the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed by Atlanta Police Department officers on June 12. That Wendy’s was burned down after Brooks’ death, and has reportedly been occupied by protesters since then.

Brooks’ death led to more protests in Atlanta, as the city and the nation were already on edge with racial tension after the death of George Floyd. The officer who shot Brooks has been charged with felony murder.

What did Bottoms say? “We’ve talked a lot about what we are demanding from our officers in our communities,” Bottoms said. “We’ve protested, we’ve demonstrated, we’ve been angry, we’ve cried, we’ve demanded action. Well now we’re demanding action for Secoriea Turner and for all the other people who were shot in Atlanta last night and over the past few weeks, because the reality is this: These aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta, these are members of the community shooting each other, and in this case, it is the worst possible outcome.”

“You can’t blame this on a police officer, you can’t say this is about criminal justice reform,” said Bottoms. “This is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an 8-year-old baby in the car. We got to stop this. We are doing more harm than any police officer on this force.”

About Keisha Bottoms: The Atlanta mayor is reportedly in consideration as a vice presidential candidate for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who is under pressure to pick a female running mate—particularly a minority female. Bottoms has been a loyal Biden supporter this election cycle, even when his campaign seemed to be a lost cause after some early primary disappointments.

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Atlanta detective says Rayshard Brooks would have faced 10 charges for altercation that led to police shooting

An Atlanta detective investigating the events leading to the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks said Brooks would’ve faced 10 criminal charges if he had survived the altercation, according to the Daily Wire.

In a filing for the defense, homicide detective Al Hogan detailed all the crimes he believes Brooks committed before he was shot and killed by Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe, who was charged with murder.

Hogan described his responsibility in the case as the investigator analyzing “the narrow series of facts that led up to the officer involved shooting.”

“If my investigation reveals that the person against whom force was used violated any laws during the incident, it would be my responsibility to pursue these charges, as well as cooperate with GBI investigators and provide to them any evidence that I had gathered during my investigation,” Hogan wrote.

In the filing, Hogan did not discuss or render any judgment as to whether Rolfe was justified in his use of deadly force.

“After leaving the scene on the night of the incident, I was informed that Rayshard Brooks was alive but critical at Grady Hospital, and I returned to the Homicide office to review all the evidence that I had gathered to determine if Rayshard Brooks’s behavior warranted any criminal charges,” Hogan wrote. “My investigation showed that Rayshard Brooks’s behavior did in fact warrant several criminal charges, but before I was able to pursue the charges I was informed that Rayshard Brooks had died, negating the necessity for that portion of my investigation.”

Hogan said Brooks would have been charged with DUI, two counts of felony obstruction, two counts of aggravated assault against a police officer, two counts of battery against a police officer, theft by taking, removal of a weapon from a public official, and robbery.

Police were called to an Atlanta Wendy’s because Brooks was intoxicated and had fallen asleep in his car in the drive-through. After a field sobriety test, officers attempted to arrest Brooks, who resisted and fought the officers. He stole one officer’s taser and fled. Rolfe shot Brooks when Brooks allegedly pointed the taser back at him.

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Cops arrest female suspect for burning down Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed. She was reportedly his girlfriend.

Atlanta police said Tuesday they have arrested the person they believe is responsible for burning down the Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was killed by a white police officer on June 12.

The police arrested 29-year-old Natalie White, who reportedly was Brooks’s girlfriend.

White surrendered to police on Tuesday, WSB-TV said. She was charged with first-degree arson and released from jail Wednesday on $10,000 bond. She was also placed on house arrest and is required to wear an ankle monitor.

According to CNN, body camera footage shows that Brooks told police about a woman who was his girlfriend.

Drew Findling, White’s attorney, told the New York Post that Brooks and White “were close friends,” and confirmed “that she was the woman Brooks referred to in the bodycam video,” according to the Post.

Findling did not elaborate on the extent of the alleged relationship “out of respect to the Brooks family who had a funeral today and is grieving the loss of Rayshard Brooks,” he told the Post.

Brooks was married to a woman named Tomika Miller.

Attorneys for the Brooks family were previously unaware of a connection between White and Brooks, WSB reported.

Findling maintains that his client is innocent.

The restaurant was set on fire on June 13 while protesters watched. Police are reportedly searching for a second suspect in the arson.


Arson suspect Natalie White appearing in court

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Rayshard Brooks case not about Taser, but about black people ‘killed by police officers,’ DA claims

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard claimed Tuesday that the death of Rayshard Brooks has “little do to” with the Taser that Brooks stole from an Atlanta police officer.

Speaking with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday, Howard said the argument that Brooks was in possession of a deadly weapon is “nonsense.”

“I think it’s simply a diversion from the real facts. This case has very little to do with a Taser,” Howard said. “And I think some of the earlier presentations brought a Taser into the whole equation and I don’t think the Taser fits in.”

However, Howard claimed earlier this month that a Taser “is considered a deadly weapon under Georgia law.” Those comments came after charging six Atlanta police officers for using their Tasers on protesters.

What the case is really about, Howard claimed, is police officers who kill black people.

“When Mr. Brooks was shot, he was running away. His back was turned. In fact, Mr. Brooks was some 18 feet, 3 inches away from the police officer at the time the shot was fired,” Howard explained. “He did not fire the shot at the time that Mr. Brooks used the Taser.”

“I think this whole argument about the Tasers is way off the track and I’m hoping that people will really get to the really substance of this case and really what I think people should be talking about is why is it in this country that African Americans continue to get killed by police officers?” Howard asked.

Surveillance video from the Wendy’s parking lot where Brooks died on June 12 shows Brooks briefly engage in a physical alternation with two Atlanta police officers before stealing a Taser from one of the officers.

The video shows that, as Brooks ran away, he turned and fired the Taser at now-former Officer Garrett Rolfe, who responded by firing three shots at Brooks, two of which entered Brooks’ back. Brooks died from those two shots, the medical examiner determined.

Rolfe has been charged with felony murder, in addition to 10 other charges, for killing Brooks.

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Georgia Bureau of Investigation blindsided by charges against Atlanta officers in Rayshard Brooks case

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation didn’t know Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard was announcing charges against Atlanta police officers in Rayshard Brooks’ shooting death, and had not even finished its independent investigation into the matter, WXIA-TV reported.

Fired Atlanta Police Department officer Garrett Rolfe and current officer Devin Brosnan were charged in Brooks’ death Wednesday afternoon. Rolfe, who shot Brooks, faces a felony murder charge, while Brosnan was charged with aggravated assault.

“The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Atlanta Police Department on Friday night, June 12th, to investigate an officer involved shooting at the Wendy’s Restaurant on University Avenue,” GBI’s statement reads. “We are still in the process of conducting that investigation. Although we have made significant progress in the case, we have not completed our work. Our goal in every officer involved shooting case we are requested to review, is to complete a thorough, impartial investigation before we submit the file to the respective District Attorney’s Office.

“The GBI was not aware of today’s press conference before it was conducted,” the statement continues. “We were not consulted on the charges filed by the District Attorney. Despite today’s occurrence, the GBI will complete its mission of completing an impartial and thorough investigation of this incident and we will submit the file, once completed, to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.”

Typically, when a local police department requests an independent GBI investigation into an officer involved shooting, GBI completes the investigation and hands over its findings to the DA for review before a decision is made on filing charges, WXIA reported.

Friday night, Rolfe and Brosnan were called to deal with Brooks, a 27-year-old man who was intoxicated and fell asleep in his car in the Wendy’s drive-thru. Brooks was cooperative during the approximately 40-minute interaction, but resisted arrest when the officers attempted to handcuff him.

Brooks wrestled the officers, stole Brosnan’s taser, and tried to run away. As the officers pursued him, Brooks appeared to aim the taser back at them, and was shot twice in the back.


GRAPHIC VIDEO: Atlanta Police Release Footage of Rayshard Brooks Shooting

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Commentary: If Rayshard Brooks’ shooting was justified, then police departments need to re-examine their use of tasers

Another day, another sad discussion of an officer-involved shooting. The city of Atlanta is in turmoil right now because of the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks. The surveillance video, accompanied by body camera footage, appears to show that in his final moments, Brooks was visibly intoxicated and struggled with police.

During that struggle, he managed to take one of the officers’ tasers, after which he attempted to flee from police. None of this, thus far, would, in most people’s minds, justify the use of deadly force. However, in the most recent video that has been released, including the surveillance footage from the Wendy’s where the scene unfolded, it appears that Brooks turned and aimed the taser at police right before they shot him.

As a result of the incident, the officer who shoot Brooks has been fired, the Atlanta police chief has resigned, and another officer has been placed on administrative duty. The question will now become whether the officer who shot Brooks will or should face criminal charges.

Much will likely hinge on whether Brooks was threatening death or serious bodily injury when he aimed the taser at officers. Brooks’ lawyer recognizes this, which is why, even in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, he publicly asserted that a taser is not a deadly weapon.

Many of the folks who have defended the shooting have, instead, asserted correctly that tasers can be deadly weapons. If this is true and proves to be a valid defense for the officer in the shooting, then it means that beyond the implications of this case, police departments across the country need to seriously review their use of tasers.

One point that many criminal justice reform advocates have been making for years is that tasers are, in fact, deadly weapons and that police (particularly in some jurisdictions where there is little or no hand-to-hand combat training offered) are entirely too quick to use them in situations where deadly force is not justified. The internet is littered with hundreds if not thousands of horror stories of police using tasers on suspects who are merely verbally noncompliant, on pregnant women, or virtually at the drop of a hat at the first sign of resistance. If the taser is a deadly weapon such that Rayshard Brooks’ shooting is justified, then all that needs to stop, and any officer who uses one in a situation where deadly force would not be justified should be fired and charged.

One clue as to the seriousness of the taser as a weapon is that the taser is not marketed to police departments as a “nonlethal” means to subdue a suspect, but rather as a “less lethal” means to subdue a suspect. This is how they have been marketed since they were widely introduced to police departments in the early 1990s. There has never been any contention, even by the makers of the taser, that a taser isn’t lethal force. It’s just less lethal than a gun.

This isn’t surprising. The taser delivers a 50,000-volt initial shock, followed by several closely packed bursts of 1,200 volts. It should be obvious to anyone that subjecting someone to a blast from a taser could cause death by cardiac arrest or a number of other causes, and if it is not obvious, the American Heart Association has confirmed the point.

Axon Enterprise, Inc., which makes the taser, says that there is very little risk of death when tasers are used properly by people who have been trained properly, but a recent study indicates that many or most police departments offer little or absolutely no training on proper taser usage and that tasers are frequently misused by police as a means to compel compliance, based upon erroneous officer belief that tasers are harmless. Further, the people most likely to be killed by tasers — people who are heavily intoxicated – are among the people most likely to be tased.

Beyond the possibility of death, the possibility of serious injury also exists with a taser. People who are tased have a tendency to fall in an uncontrolled manner, which can lead to head and other injuries.

It is true that in the vast majority of cases where a taser is deployed, no death or serious bodily injuries occur. But a “vast majority” is not “all.” Any implement that has the potential to cause death ought to be treated seriously as a potentially deadly weapon, because that’s what it is.

This is why, for years, many have been pressing police departments to realize that a suspect should only be tased if it would be otherwise legally justified to use lethal force on the suspect. And many police departments are, indeed, adopting such policies. And if those policies apply to police, should they not apply to anyone who steals a police officer’s taser and points it at police?

Ultimately, this is what a prosecutor and a jury will have to answer: Was it reasonable for the police officer to fear imminent death or serious bodily harm when he discharged his weapon?

And moreover, in the context of someone who has already physically struggled with and struck a police officer, a suspect who has taken a taser from an officer and points it at him with the obvious intention of using it is in serious danger of taking control of the situation and perhaps being seconds away from taking the officer’s firearm.

Tasers are clearly less lethal than firearms. In a situation where an officer might otherwise have to use a firearm, a taser is clearly the better option. But they are not harmless, and they are not toys.

This case will set an important precedent, given its high national profile. Do we, as a society, think that a taser is a deadly weapon, or don’t we? If we don’t, then I guess the cop who shot Brooks should be criminally charged. If we do, then we need to demand better accountability from our police departments across the country in how they use them and secure them.

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Atlanta officer who killed Rayshard Brooks could be charged with felony murder

The Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot late Friday, triggering a new wave of protests, could face felony murder charges.

Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard announced Sunday that his office will determine this week whether criminal charges will be filed against Garrett Rolfe, the officer responsible for Brooks’s death.

“[Brooks] did not seem to present any kind of threat to anyone, and so the fact that it would escalate to his death just seems unreasonable,” Howard told CNN on Sunday.

“It just seems like this is not the kind of conversation and incident that should have led to someone’s death,” he added.

Howard said his office will consider a full range of charges — from manslaughter to felony murder — in the case, and said a decision will be made by Wednesday.

“Specifically, Officer Rolfe, whether or not he felt that Mr. Brooks, at the time, presented imminent harm of death or some serious physical injury. Or, the alternative is whether or not he fired the shot simply to capture him or some other reason,” Howard explained. “If that shot was fired for some reason other than to save that officer’s life or to prevent injury to him or others, then that shooting is not justified under the law.”

Rolfe has already been fired from his job with the Atlanta Police Department. Police Chief Erika Shields has also resigned.

Following Howard’s CNN interview, his office released the following statement, WGCL-TV reported:

Because this is a homicide investigation, there are several technical requirements that must be met before we are able to reach a decision. That includes the confirmation of the ballistics involved and obtaining a preliminary report from the Medical Examiner. Additionally, my office received a referral from a local attorney who provided the names of two other witnesses who my office is working to speak with before making a decision. We are still experiencing some difficulty in obtaining all of the body cam and dash cam footage from the Atlanta Police Department. We are working around the clock to bring this investigation to a conclusion, and it is my hope to be able to announce our decision midweek.

Meanwhile, the Fulton County medical examiner declared Sunday that Brooks’s manner of death was homicide, WGCL reported.

Brooks sustained two gunshots to the back, the medical examiner determined.

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Video shows rioting protesters attack CNN camera crew for recording them destroying a Wendy’s

A CNN reporter and her camera crew were attacked late Saturday as they covered escalating protests in Atlanta after police shot and killed Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot.

CNN correspondent Natasha Chen and her camera crew were videoing protesters as they broke windows and set fire to the Wendy’s where Brooks was gunned down by police on Friday night. But the rioters apparently did not want their criminal actions to be caught on video.

Video shows protesters attack the camera crew. According to Chen, the rioters eventually broke CNN’s camera.

“Our photojournalist, our producer, and I were trying to get video of what was happening, and there were protesters very angry that we were recording this and tried to block our cameras,” Chen explained.

“At that point, they got aggressive and our CNN camera was broken,” she added.

CNN host Wolf Blitzer, to whom Chen was speaking, describes the actions of the protesters as “very disturbing.”

Chen said her crew was able to evaluate the area without injury.

Tensions boiled over Saturday after video of Brooks death circulated on social media. The police officer who shot and killed Brooks has already been fired. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields has also resigned.

The Georgia State Bureau of Investigation is handling the probe into Brooks’s death.

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Atlanta rapper ‘Killer Mike’ blasts CNN in powerful speech: ‘Stop feeding fear and anger’

Atlanta-based rapper “Killer Mike,” whose real name is Michael Render, blasted CNN on Friday during a nearly 9-minute speech on Friday in which he pleaded with protesters to stop rioting.

“I love CNN, I love Cartoon Network,” Killer Mike said. “But, I’d like to say to CNN right now, said. Stop feeding fear and anger every day. Stop making people feel so fearful. Give them hope.”

“I’m glad they only took down a sign and defaced a building, and they’re not killing human beings like that policeman did,” he continued. “I’m glad they only destroyed some brick and mortar and they didn’t rip a father from a son. They didn’t rip a son from a mother — like the policeman did.”

Killer Mike’s powerful speech came on the same day that protests, sparked by the tragic death of George Floyd, spilled over into major cities across America.

During demonstrations in Atlanta, thousands of protesters descended on CNN’s world headquarters, which is located in the heart of the city. Demonstrators defaced the building and wrote messages on the network’s iconic logo just outside the building’s entrance before actually breaching the building.

The violence resulted in a forceful response from Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat, who described the demonstrations as “chaos” that is “not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.”

“You are disgracing our city. You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country,” Bottoms said. “We are better than this. We are better than this as a city. We are better than this as a country. Go home.”

You can watch Killer Mike’s complete speech below:

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Protestors attack CNN’s Atlanta headquarters

Rioters in Atlanta protesting the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd acted out their fury by defacing the building housing CNN’s headquarters Friday night, breaking windows and covering the front of the CNN Center in graffiti.

Law enforcement was eventually able to clear the crowd away, but a police cruiser was set on fire in front of the building in the process.

What are the details?

Several videos circulated online showing activists spray painting the “CNN” sign in front of the headquarters and throwing objects to shatter glass at the main entrance. According to reports, protestors also attempted to enter the building but were unsuccessful.


#CNN building in #Atlanta, #Georgia is being destroyed by protesters.

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CNN reported that demonstrators waived a Black Lives Matter flag from atop the sign, and an American flag was burned in the street in front of the building.


Atlanta protesters burn American flag in front of CNN Center

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Footage from
WSB-TV in Atlanta shows several police vehicles being vandalized in front of the building, and one was completely engulfed in flames. Protestors also threw objects at police officers, and one reporter on the scene told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he thought he smelled tear gas as the police clashed with the angry crowd.

CNN reporter Fernando Alfonso III tweeted that he left the scene “as chants of ‘F**k CNN’ from protestors grew from across the street from the CNN Center.”

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Atlanta’s Democratic mayor admits Georgia’s reopening was ‘not as bad as I thought that it would be’

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms (D) was highly critical of Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s plan to allow Georgia businesses to reopen earlier than federal guidelines recommended, but she now concedes that the result of the reopening hasn’t been as catastrophic as she anticipated, according to Fox News.

In late April, Bottoms wrote a piece for The Atlantic titled, “Atlanta isn’t ready to reopen—and neither is Georgia,” in which she called Kemp’s decision “irresponsible” and predicted that state hospitals could be seriously strained by new COVID-19 cases. That did not happen.

“Well, what I can say, Brian, is it’s not as bad as I thought that it would be,” Bottoms told MSNBC’s Brian Williams.

Still, Bottoms wasn’t ready to give Kemp credit for a successful reopening yet, although she admitted that the rate of new cases in the state has slowed since the reopening.

“So, I am pleased about that, but I still think it’s too soon to say,” Bottoms said. “The reason being, whereas initially, we were seeing increases between deaths and people testing positive, rising anywhere from 25% to 30% over a seven-day period. Right now, we’re somewhere between 12% and 15%. And it’s better than it was, but it’s still not great.”

Many predicted a dangerous spike in coronavirus cases in Georgia after reopening, and President Donald Trump was even critical of Kemp, a fellow Republican. One national headline about the reopening read, “Reopening Georgia could lead to a doubling of coronavirus death rate, according to model.”

But the data appears to show the lifting of restrictions did not cause harm. From KOMO-TV, the average number of new cases is going down even as more people get tested:

Georgia began lifting restrictions April 24 amid widespread ridicule and even a warning from President Donald Trump that it was too soon to reopen. … Statewide testing has reportedly increased. The average number of new COVID-19 cases has declined more than 20% since the reopening date, according to the Georgia Department of Health.

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Atlanta’s Dem mayor pins responsibility for Ahmaud Arbery shooting on President Trump

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat, is attempting to pin responsibility for the tragic shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery on President Donald Trump.

During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Bottoms claimed the Trump administration is giving racists “permission” to carry out acts of violence — making them at least partially responsible for Arbery’s death.

“It’s heartbreaking that it’s 2020, and this was a lynching of an African-American man,” Bottoms said.

“But I think, again, it’s a part of this bigger issue that we are having in this country. With the rhetoric we hear coming out of the White House in so many ways, I think that many who are prone to being racist are given permission to do it in an overt way that we otherwise would not see in 2020,” she continued.

The men who allegedly chased and subsequently shot Arbery — Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34 — were arrested last week and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault.

Their apprehension came only after a graphic video of the incident went viral, triggering national outcry and analysis from lawyers who called Arbery’s death a “vigilante killing.”

But, according to Bottoms, the Department of Justice is also partially responsible for the delay in prosecution because the agency did not intervene in the case.

“In cities across this country, even if local leadership fails, there was always the backstop of our Justice Department to step in and make sure that people are appropriately prosecuted,” Bottoms said.

“But we don’t have that leadership at the top right now. It’s disheartening,” she went on to say. “And I can tell you, I have four kids, three of whom are African-American boys. They are afraid. They are angry. And they are afraid.”

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BREAKING: Father and son charged with murder of Ahmaud Arbery after public outcry over disturbing video

Two of the men seen in a video shooting and killing Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia have been arrested and charged in his murder after a very public outcry after video of the incident was released.

The incident became racially charged because the victim was black and the two men chasing him are white.

Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, admit that they chased Arbery on the day of Feb. 23, but said that they believed him to be a burglar that had been robbing homes in their neighborhood.

After Arbery tried to run away, the two men cornered him again and shot him during an altercation. He died at the scene.

Arvery’s family say he was just out jogging for exercise.

The two men were not arrested for two months until a very graphic video was released showing the incident.

Here’s the graphic video [caution]:


Video appearing to show killing of black jogger Ahmaud Arbery sparks outrage

www.youtube.com

On Thursday the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced that they had arrested both men for the murder of Arbery.

Georgia attorney general Chris Carr released a statement after they were arrested.

“Gregory and Travis McMichael have been arrested this evening for aggravated assault and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. We are grateful the Georgia Bureau of investigation has taken quick and decisive action,” the statement read.

“This tragedy cannot be undone, but this is the first step in what I am confident will be a swift road to justice,” he added.

Here’s more about the lethal incident:


Protests continue for justice in Ahmaud Arbery’s killing in Georgia

www.youtube.com

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Superstar Tyler Perry goes on good deed spree: gives $21K tip to restaurant employees, pays for senior citizens’ food at 73 grocery stores

Actor and film producer Tyler Perry embarked on a mission to brighten people’s lives over the last few days.

What are the details?

TMZ
reported that Perry, 50, donated $21,000 in tips to employees at an Atlanta, Georgia, restaurant on Sunday.

Perry, who ordered carry-out food service from Houston’s, reportedly left a $500 tip for each of the 42 “out of work servers” at the restaurant.

On Wednesday, the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Perry took his good-deed-doing even further — and paid for senior citizens’ food orders at 73 grocery stores in Atlanta, Georgia, and New Orleans, Louisiana.

Felix Turner, a spokesperson for Atlanta’s Kroger stores, lauded the filmmaker’s move.

“Senior and higher-risk Kroger shoppers in metro Atlanta did receive a nice surprise at the register this morning when they learned Tyler Perry had paid their grocery tab in full,” Turner said in a statement. “We would like to join our customers in thanking Mr. Perry for his kindness and generosity during this unprecedented pandemic. It was truly a pleasure to see our customers fill with joy and gratitude as the news spread throughout 44 stores across metro Atlanta.”

A source told People that Perry — who was born in New Orleans, but lives in Atlanta — wanted to do something “special” for those he considers his neighbors.

“He wanted to do something special to provide immediate relief for some of the most vulnerable in the two cities he considers home,” the source said on Wednesday.

WVUE-TV
reported that Perry did the very same thing at a variety of Winn-Dixie stores in the New Orleans metropolitan area on Wednesday.

The station reported that Perry provided free groceries to elderly and at-risk shoppers to all 29 Louisiana stores, including stores in nearby Gramercy and Luling, as well as in Baton Rouge.

On Thursday, the “Today” show estimated that “thousands” of shoppers were impacted by Perry’s lavish generosity.

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