Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms condemned violent protests over the death of George Floyd that erupted in her city on Friday, saying in a fiery speech “this is not a protest … this is chaos,” The Hill reported. “This is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos. A protest has a purpose. When Dr. King was assassinated we didn’t do this to our city. So if you love this city, this city that has had a legacy of black mayors and black police chiefs and people who care about this city where more than 50 percent of the business owners in metro Atlanta are minority business owners, if you care about this city then go home.”
“We are better than this. We are better than this as a city. We are better than this as a country,” she said. “You’re throwing knives at our police officers. You are burning cars. You have defaced the CNN building.”
“You are disgracing this city. You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country. We are better than this. We are better than this is a city and we are better than this as a country,” Bottoms said. “This is not the legacy of civil rights in America. This is chaos and we’re buying into it. This won’t change anything.”
The protest in Atlanta was one of many protests across the country sparked after Floyd’s death, including three consecutive nights of demonstrations in Minneapolis that saw looting and the burning down of a police precinct. Floyd died Monday during a police arrest, with video showing a Minneapolis police officer pinning Floyd to the ground with a knee to his neck. Floyd could be heard saying “I can’t breathe,” before he eventually lost consciousness and was pronounced dead at a hospital 90 minutes later.