Atlanta police arrest multiple people after anti-police protest turns violent

State officials vowed to arrest any violent protesters as they pleaded for calm.

Updated: January 22, 2023 - 9:40am

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Anti-police protests erupted into violence Saturday night in downtown Atlanta, resulting in at least six arrests and raising fresh safety concerns after a tense week in Georgia during which a state trooper was shot. 

Multiple news media reports said that a peaceful protest in downtown Atlanta devolved into violence as protesters shot fireworks toward the local police foundation office.

"Atlanta Police have arrested 6 people so far, some of whom were carrying explosives," the town's Democratic mayor, Andre Dickens, wrote Saturday evening on Facebook.

State officials had vowed to arrest any violent protesters as they pleaded for calm. At 10:30 p.m. ET, police said they responded to a group "damaging property at several locations" downtown and order has since been restored to the area.

“While the state continues to respect peaceful protest, acts of violence against person or property will not be tolerated. Those committing such unlawful acts will be arrested and prosecuted fully," Gov. Brian Kemp said Saturday.

Anti-police activists have been protesting the creation of a police training academy in the Atlanta area. Earlier in the week a state trooper was shot by a protester, who was killed in a subsequent exchange of gunfire.

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