UPDATED 6:15 PM After being driven away earlier by police, demonstrators regrouped in front of CNN’s Atlanta headquarters, throwing objects — including a very large firecracker — at police, as well as breaking the building’s front windows.
Police formed a phalanx inside the building, just feet away from demonstrators facing them outside. One protester ran inside and was apprehended.
Others hit police with objects thrown from outside.
One man with a skateboard in hand walked right to the edge of the building, smashed his skateboard against a window right in front of police and then stood defiantly before the police phalanx. The red dots from multiple police scopes could be seen on his chest as he postured.
Shortly after, police outside the building deployed what looked like some sort of “deterrent spray,” according to CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who was reporting live on air as the scene unfolded.
Near Atlanta’s Centennial Park, cars were set on fire and seen in full blaze on video posted to Twitter.
Earlier, Atlanta police chief Erika Shields deployed a very different sort of community policing, wading into the crowd of demonstrators and speaking at length with them, one-on-one.
PREVIOUSLY, Protesters in Atlanta on Friday marched on the headquarters of CNN, gathering by the hundreds in front of the building, defacing the giant-sized network logo out front and destroying police cars when authorities began to disperse the crowd.
The incident came after three days and nights of protest in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd who, videos showed, was prone when a police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck. Floyd screamed, “I can’t breathe!” multiple times before he died.
That officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday.
The family of George Floyd is calling for an upgrade in the criminal charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, from 3rd degree murder to 1st degree. The key to an upgrade in charges revolves around a determination of Chauvin’s intent and premeditation to cause Floyd’s death.
The family also wants charges against the three other officers at the scene.
“We call on authorities to revise the charges to reflect the true culpability of this officer,” the family statement reads. Later in the statement, the family says, “For four officers to inflict this kind of unnecessary, lethal force – or watch it happen – despite outcry from witnesses who were recording the violence – demonstrates a breakdown in training and policy by the City.”
Other protests broke out on Friday in Brooklyn, San Jose, Los Angeles and Washington D.C., where the Secret Service put the White House on lock down as protesters gathered outside.