On Saturday (Jan. 21), police arrested six people during a violent protest in Downtown Atlanta. City Mayor Andre Dickens said “some” of those taken in “were found with explosives on them,” and stated that only one was a Georgia native.
“It should be noted that these individuals were not Atlanta or Georgia residents,” Dickens explained at a press conference. “Most of them traveled into our city to wreak havoc. My message is simple: To those who seek to continue this type of criminal behavior, we will find you, and we will arrest you and you will be held accountable.”
Each of the suspects faces felony charges, including second-degree criminal damage, first-degree arson, interference with government property, and domestic terrorism.
Of the six arrested, Graham Evatt, 20, was from Decatur and the rest were from out of state. The others were identified as Nadja Geier, 24, from Nashville, Tennessee; Madeleine Feola, 22, from Spokane, Washington; Ivan Ferguson, 23, from Nevada; Francis Carrol, 22, from Kennebunkport, Maine; and Emily Murphy, 37, from Grosse Ile, Michigan.
CBS News reported that masked individuals dressed in all-black vandalized businesses and set a police car on fire. This act of violence was reportedly a response to last week’s killing of an environmental activist.
Last Wednesday(Jan. 18), police killed 26-year-old Manuel Esteban Paez Teran after he allegedly shot and wounded a Georgia state trooper.
It began as a peaceful demonstration against the building of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, which protestors nicknamed “Cop City.” Gatherers marched down Peachtree Street but according to Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum, the violence began once they made it to the intersection of Ellis Street. Schierbaum confirmed that three businesses were damaged, but no officers or citizens were injured.
“We’re very fortunate tonight that when the men and women of law enforcement responded none were harmed,” said Schierbaum. “No Atlanta police officer, sheriff’s deputy or state trooper have been injured tonight… Every citizen of this city should know that when criminals arrive in Atlanta, Georgia, they will be met by their police department.”
ATLANTA POLICE CHIEF: The Mayor of Atlanta Andre Dickens and Chief of Police Darin Schierbaum are speaking to the media right now after #COPCITY protesters vandalized buildings and police vehicles in downtown Atlanta. #BREAKING #NEWS #ATL @FOX5Atlanta pic.twitter.com/7kJPkQxq6S
— Billy Heath III (@BillyHeathFOX5) January 22, 2023