By Tanni Deb – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
J.D. Capelouto – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta police arrested 18 protesters Friday night at a rally held over concerns that a criminal indictment against one officer isn’t enough in the Breonna Taylor case, authorities said.
The arrests happened at a protest in the Inman Park/Old Fourth Ward area, separate from an earlier demonstration held downtown, authorities said.
The grand jury’s decision this week sparked protests across the nation. Two Louisville police officers were shot Wednesday night during the first round of protests in Kentucky’s largest city.
In Atlanta, demonstrators were back on the streets Friday, starting at police headquarters. More local rallies are scheduled for this weekend.
Wednesday night, a crowd of about 200 marched from Woodruff Park to Peachtree Street and later to the state Capitol, where there were tense moments between some protesters and members of the National Guard. Seven people were arrested that night.
A former Louisville officer was charged Wednesday in connection with the March killing of Taylor, whose shooting death in a botched drug raid sparked national outrage. Taylor was 26.
Former Louisville Metro Police Department Officer Brett Hankison, who was fired in June, was indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for shooting into neighboring apartments on the night of the raid.
But some believed there should have been a murder indictment and want their voices heard.
Qri Montague, co-chair of the People’s Uprising, which is the main organizing group for Friday’s rally, said, “We’re just demanding that police have more accountability.”
[10:13 p.m.] There were 18 protest-related arrests on Friday, Atlanta police spokeswoman Officer TaSheena Brown told AJC.com in a statement. The arrests were made in the 400 block of Highland Avenue in Inman Park, according to Brown.
[7:48 p.m.] Organizers have announced the end of the rally, but a handful of people are still protesting in front of Atlanta police headquarters.
[7:42 p.m.] Protesters have reached Atlanta police headquarters and are peacefully chanting, “We ready.”
[7:30 p.m.] Protesters are now marching back toward Atlanta police headquarters.
[6:59 p.m.] Hannah Gebresilassie, 29, said she is protesting to “mobilize our community” and to empower others to vote and seek justice for people who have been killed by police. “There’s so many Breonna Taylors. There are so many Jamarion Robinsons,” she said. “They all need attention.”
[6:57 p.m.] “Everyone out here should know my son’s name,” Monteria Robinson said. Her son, Jamarion Robinson, was shot 76 times by police who were serving a warrant for his arrest in August 2016. His family filed a civil rights lawsuit in 2018 against the officers who killed him. “You guys should be outraged that this happened in your city,” his mother said during Friday’s protest.
[6:35 p.m.] Protests have reached the state Capitol.
[5:52 p.m.] Protesters have started marching from police headquarters to the state Capitol. Atlanta NAACP First Vice President Gerald Griggs called the grand jury’s decision “disrespectful.” Griggs said activists in Atlanta have been protesting for more than 100 days in person and virtually to end the state’s no-knock warrant policies.