After enduring weeklong protests and marches that forced city and state police officers to work overtime during that entire period, Mayor Kasim Reed has announced he is considering implementing a curfew.
The demonstrations are in response to the police killings of black men on back-to-back days last week in Baton Rouge, La., and suburban Minneapolis. While Reed has repeatedly said he supports the protesters’ 1st Amendment rights to assemble and air their grievances against the government, he is asking for a “cooling off” period as he agreed to meet with #BlackLivesMatter movement leaders on Monday. He also added that police officers have put in 6,000 hours of overtime and are working 12-hour shifts without reprieve.
Unlike other cities, the protest rallies in Atlanta have been free of violence and rioting.He said over the weekend that protests are taking a toll on officers and he asked protesters to treat them with respect, WABE reports
The mayor credited Atlanta Police and the Georgia State Patrol for avoiding mass arrests.
“If we had started making arrests of these young people, we would have been contributing to the very pathology that we’re talking about, and that is giving young black people arrest records.” Reed said, WABE reports. “And so I ask that you all consider the humanity we’ve show in doing everything we could to refrain from arresting you, but all things have their limits.”