The Georgia State Emergency

Firefighters responded to a blazing Atlanta cop car after violent protesters lit it on fire.

ABC News

Firefighters responded to a blazing Atlanta cop car after violent protesters lit it on fire.

On Jan. 26, Gov. Brian Kemp granted a state of emergency after the continuous violent protest in downtown Atlanta. The protests were an effect of a shooting near a future law enforcement training center in which a state trooper was injured and a man was killed.


It all started at Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, nicknamed “Cop City,” where protesters had been circling the area for months, but on Jan. 18, things took a turn for the worst. A 26-year-old protester named Manuel Esteban Paez Teran opened fire on a Georgia State Trooper, wounding him following a multi-agency operation to dismiss the protesters. Furthermore, authorities fired back after Teran did not comply with commands and essentially killed him.  


That Friday night, a memorial service was held for Manuel Teran, which according to friends, was called ‘Tortuguita’. The next day, peaceful protesters that wore all black  gathered around underground Atlanta for nearly an hour in support of Teran. 


In less than five days, six people were arrested after violent protests that ultimately led Gov. Kemp to make his decision. The protesters damaged property and even lit a police vehicle on fire. It has also been said that some of the activists were found with explosives on them. A witness reports seeing “…people smashing tail lights of cop cars and windows.” 


Wells Fargo along with Truis Bank was one of the many companies that received smashed windows that night. 


Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum commented on the horrific events, “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or an attorney to tell you that breaking windows or setting fires is not protesting, that is terrorism.”  


Gov. Kemp wrote in his declaration of the state of emergency, “Masked activists threw rocks, launched fireworks and burned a police vehicle in front of the Atlanta Police Foundation office building…Georgians respect peaceful protest, but do not tolerate acts of violence..”  


According to the declaration, the state of emergency is put in place until Feb. 9 or unless it is restored by the governor. 


These sequences of events come days after five police officers were brutally beaten to death by Tyre Nichols after an altercation at a traffic stop in Memphis. The Atlanta Police Department has already commented on the occurrence and has said, “We are closely monitoring the events in Memphis and are prepared to support peaceful protests in our city…we understand and share in the outrage surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols.”