ATLANTA (AP) — Protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody spread around the United States on Friday, as his case renewed anger over others involving African Americans, police, and race relations.
Protests were largely peaceful as demonstrators marched in the streets from Los Angeles to New York, but in Atlanta, demonstrators set a police car ablaze and broke windows at CNN’s headquarters.
Protesters used barricades to break police vehicle windshields and jumped from car to car in Atlanta. Hundreds of the protesters confronted police outside CNN headquarters. They spray-painted the large, iconic CNN logo outside the building, breaking a windowed entrance. One protester climbed on top of the sign and waved a “Black Lives Matter” flag to cheers from the crowd.
Protesters pelted officers who came over with bottles, striking some of them. Other bottles thrown at authorities exploded behind the police line, but no officers appeared to get hit. Protesters chanted, “Quit your jobs.”
The officers backed their line away from the group of protesters who were throwing objects at them.
Police ordered demonstrators to leave the street and threatened to arrest them if they did not leave quickly.
Protesters used accelerant to burn an American flag. People were watching the scene from rooftops, some laughing at skirmishes that broke out and vandalism by the protesters.
Protesters were also walking on the interstate in downtown Atlanta and appeared to be trying to block traffic.
The Georgia State Patrol has responded.
Earlier, as the protest appeared more calm, Kaity Brackett, 27, said she came out to the protest because she thinks the entire criminal justice system needs to be overhauled, starting with policing. She said the Ahmaud Arbery killing was a catalyst for her and referred to his death as a lynching. Arbery was killed on Feb. 23 by a former district attorney investigator and his son, who were not arrested until after video emerged months later.
Brackett wore a blue mask and sat with her partner and a friend. She was less concerned about the threat from the coronavirus.
“We risk our lives going to the grocery store, going to get gas,” she said. “This is more important than all of that.”