Arrest Data, GBI Analysis Shows Most Protesters From Atlanta Area
Data from the Atlanta Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation about those arrested in Atlanta between Friday and Tuesday show a majority live in the Atlanta area.
Of the 477 people charged between Friday and Tuesday night, 391 or 82% were residents of the city or the metro Atlanta area.
But, on Saturday, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said protesters appeared "lost" while in the city, and that some were outside agitators.
"These were not Atlantans, we knew they were not Atlantans," Shields said. "They were lost when they were in the protests; they didn’t know how to march to the state Capitol. That’s a clue.”
Shields said during a Saturday press conference with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms that the behavior of the demonstrators was off.
"Their behavior was unfamiliar territory for us," Shields said. "The protesters who organize protests in Atlanta, we know them."
GBI Director Vic Reynolds suggested on Tuesday that many of the protesters were part of a larger organized effort.
"I will tell you now is that we are convinced based on the information and intelligence we have that there are individuals here from various groups around the county," Reynolds said. "A lot of which are bent primarily on destruction and violence."
Of those arrested, the overwhelming majority were charged with violating the curfew. Very few were charged with violent crimes or destruction of property.
Ten people were bonded out of jail by someone from out of state, which the GBI said could suggest “coordination and outside influence."
Tuesday night saw the lowest number of arrests since curfew began: 52. The majority of those arrested were charged with violating curfew. Only one person was arrested for smash and grab burglary.
The GBI put out its own analysis of the data on Thursday, which also found the majority of the protesters were Georgia residents. According to their review, the youngest protester arrested was 17 and the oldest was 69.
Most arrested did not have a previous criminal history, but more than 30 individuals had what the GBI called a "significant criminal history including charges that could be consistent with prior involvement in violent civil unrest."
Not long after crowds turned riotous Friday night, Bottoms begged people to go home if they loved this city.
"Above everything else, I am a mother," Bottoms began. "When I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt."
On Wednesday, Bottoms extended the citywide curfew for the next five days.