ATLANTA (AP/WSAV) – Georgia’s governor has authorized up to 3,000 National Guard troops to be deployed to cities across the state to respond if needed to protests over the deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota and Ahmaud Arbery.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp late Saturday expanded his previous order authorizing the deployment of Guard troops in Atlanta to now cover the entire state through next weekend.
By early afternoon Sunday, a handful of trucks were seen on Savannah’s Bay Street but staying distant from the steps of city hall where a crowd gathered for a peaceful protest.
On Saturday in Atlanta, hundreds of Guard soldiers helped enforce a 9 p.m. curfew where police said they made 150 arrests as some protesters threw rocks at officers and smashed windows at a police precinct.
Demonstrators had smashed police cars and spray-painted the iconic logo sign at CNN headquarters in downtown Atlanta.
At least three officers were hurt and there were multiple arrests, Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said, as protesters shot at officers with BB guns and threw bricks, bottles and knives.
Atlanta officials said crews were unable to reach a fire at Del Frisco’s restaurant in the Buckhead neighborhood several miles north because of protesters there.
“This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. “If you want change in America, go and register to vote. Show up at the polls on June 9. Do it in November. That is the change we need in this country. You are disgracing our city. You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country. We are better than this. We’re better than this as a city. We are better than this as a country. Go home, go home.”
Bottoms was flanked by King’s daughter, Bernice King, and rappers T.I. and Killer Mike.
“We have to be better than burning down our own homes. Because if we lose Atlanta what have we got?” said Killer Mike, crying as he spoke.
Bottoms on Sunday extended Atlanta’s curfew another night.
Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said Saturday an emergency order has been prepared, including a curfew. He said he’s “fully prepared to sign it the moment things get out of hand.”
Some video via CNN Newsource