Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has had enough of out-of-town domestic terrorists and their disruptive activities in downtown Atlanta. The Republican declared a 15-day state of emergency to enable him to call in the National Guard to deal with the troublemakers.
There is also concern that tensions could heighten over the beating death of Black motorist Tyre Nichols, allegedly at the hands of five Memphis police officers after a traffic stop.
The Atlanta Police Department released a statement expressing its regret over the explosive Memphis situation. The agency asked that “demonstrations be safe and peaceful.”
Kemp’s order called for up to 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops to be mobilized to “subdue riot and unlawful assembly.” This followed last weekend’s violence that saw extensive property damage and the setting afire of an Atlanta police vehicle.
Governor Brian Kemp has declared a state of emergency amid violent protests that broke out in downtown Atlanta over "Cop City". 1,000 national guard members have been activated until February 9th. pic.twitter.com/oC5SlkoK9M
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) January 27, 2023
Specifically, the order stated that due to “unlawful assemblage, violence, overt threats of violence, disruption of the peace and tranquility of this state and danger existing to persons and property, a State of Emergency is declared in the State of Georgia.”
The unrest followed the shooting of a Georgia State Patrol trooper while a protest camp was being cleared by officers. Officers returned fire, killing the alleged shooter.
The illegal camp was set up at the site of the Atlanta Public Safety Center, where construction is underway for a new training facility. Protesters labeled the site as “Cop City.”
Antifa and their sympathizers declared a “Night of Rage” over the Jan. 18 incident that claimed the life of 26-year-old Manuel Esteban Paez Teran. Despite authorities believing he fired on the state trooper, who had to undergo surgery, crowds of demonstrators took to the streets.
The night’s activities fizzled, but the next day a crowd of activists gathered at Underground Atlanta. At least three businesses were damaged by rocks and other projectiles, and one police vehicle was set afire.
Police reported that some of the demonstrators were found with explosives, and six arrests were made.
With almost all of the violent demonstrators being from out of state, Kemp is right to assert that agitators must be prevented from further damaging Atlanta. It is far better for authorities to be prepared and for nothing to happen than to be caught unprepared for another round of violence.