- advertisement -
Posted under: Social Justice News

Keisha Lance Bottoms Makes Emotionally Charged Appeal To Atlanta Protestors Following Riots: 'This Is Not A Protest'

โ€œThis is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos. A protest has purpose," Bottoms said.

Atlanta is on the mend after a peaceful protest morphed into a night of chaos in the city.

Protesters arrived in the city to protest police brutality and racism after a string of Black deaths nationwide. The latest being that of George Floyd, who died on Memorial Day after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.

What started as a peaceful march disintegrated into cases of vandalism, arson and looting. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported several downtown Atlanta landmarks were damaged including the CNN Center, the College Football Hall of Fame and a tourist center in Centennial Olympic Park.





Rioters also made their way to the upscale Buckhead district, where they ran through the Phipps Plaza mall and torched restaurants. Police cars were set ablaze and some participants threw rocks and other debris at officers.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms condemned the rioting during a press conference on Friday night.


“This is not a protest,” Bottoms said. “This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos. A protest has purpose. When Dr. King was assassinated, we didn’t do this to our city. You are disgracing our city. You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country.”

She also empathized with enraged citizens as the mother of Black children, per CNN.

"I am a mother to four black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old. And when I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt," Bottoms said. "And yesterday when I heard there were rumors about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do, I called my son and I said, 'Where are you?' I said, 'I cannot protect you and black boys shouldn't be out today.'"

"So, you're not going to out-concern me and out-care about where we are in America," Bottoms added. "I wear this each and every day, and I pray over my children, each and every day."

Rapper Killer Mike also pleaded for peace alongside the mayor. 



“It is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy,” he said through tears. “It is your duty to fortify your own house so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization.”

He also encouraged Atl-iens to use their energy to be productive.

“If we lose Atlanta, what else we got? We lose an ability to plot, to plan, to strategize, to organize and to properly mobilize,” the “Kryptonite” rapper said. “I want you to go home. I want you to talk to 10 of your friends. I want you guys to come up with real solutions.”

It is unclear what changed on Friday night, but some attendees accused the Atlanta Police Department of inciting violence. Others blamed unruly white people who wanted to be destructive.




USA Today reports Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency on Saturday morning and deployed 500 members of the National Guard to restore order.

- advertisement -
Ashleigh is a writer and podcaster based in Atlanta, GA. She isa social justice senshi, not a SJW. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @ashleighlakieva.