The CNN headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, became a target of vandalism amid violent protests over the death of George Floyd.
What began as a peaceful protest in the midday hours, escalated to violence, vandalism, fires, and looting by night. Protesters gathered at Centennial Olympic Park in the downtown area of Atlanta, and then the crowd made its way to CNN.
The glass was broken at the CNN building, and obscene statements were written on the CNN sign and on the building.
Members of the Atlanta Police Department SWAT team ultimately resorted to releasing tear gas to clear the crowd.
See the footage of the protest below:
SWAT approaches CNN's Atlanta headquarters after protesters broke some of building's glass pic.twitter.com/95YJva8miQ— Fernando Alfonso III (@fernalfonso) May 29, 2020
After the crowd disbursed from the CNN building, protesters still were not deterred. They moved on to other areas of the city, going as far as the Lenox Square Mall in the affluent Buckhead area of the city.
Protesters also looted outlet stores — including Target, AT&T, FedEx, and Starbucks — near the mall. The College Football Hall of Fame was also looted and severely damaged.
The looting of the upscale Lenox Square shopping mall in Atlanta is under way. My sympathies to store owners. https://t.co/lPoCunG59x— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) May 30, 2020
Fires also erupted in close proximity to the mall. Several Atlanta fire trucks were damaged.
Fire at Del Frisco’s Grille across from Lenox Mall is out. Windows broken and damage to numerous fire trucks. Firefighters picking up hose to leave the scene. @Atlanta_Police and @FultonSheriff protecting firefighters. #AFRD #ATL #Atlanta. pic.twitter.com/dwXXDL3iHk— Atlanta Fire Rescue (@ATLFireRescue) May 30, 2020
In the wake of the escalating violence, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) held a press conference about the city’s unrest. Denouncing the violent protests, she expressed disapproval of the protesters’ actions as she reminded them of the history and integrity of Atlanta.
“What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. This is chaos,” Lance Bottoms said.
“A protest has purpose. When Dr. King was assassinated, we didn’t do this to our city,” she said, adding, “If you want change in America, go and register to vote. … That is the change we need in this country.”
See her remarks below:
On Friday, former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter for the death of George Floyd. The other three officers involved have not been charged, but they were fired.
Protesters are demanding all four officers face criminal charges.