Savannah mayor says city is ‘blessed’ after peaceful protest Sunday

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah Mayor Van Johnson applauded police and community members for the peaceful demonstration that prompted hundreds to show up downtown on Sunday.

Despite a large crowd, there were no major problems and no property damage. The mayor said everyone was “speaking in one voice and the language of the day was love.”

Hundreds of protesters had gathered in Johnson Square to mark the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who died from asphyxiation while being restrained by police during an arrest.

But they also held signs to mark the death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, an African American who was shot and killed in February.

“Sunday was a time when many in Savannah came together to say that we will protest as a community, we will be mad as a community but under no circumstances will we allow anyone to destroy our community,” said Johnson.

The mayor credited police and other law enforcement agencies for providing a presence which he said ensured that protest was possible but property damage was not. He also said he had instituted a curfew Sunday evening because of concerns that people, including many from out of the city, might cause problems.

Johnson said 16 people had been arrested Sunday evening, many for violating the curfew which was lifted Monday afternoon.

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