Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms had a passionate plea for those in her city late Friday evening: go home and stop causing destruction in the name of George Floyd. The Democratic mayor explained that she is the mother of four black sons and continually worries about their safety, but rioting won't change things.
"You're not going to out concern me and out care where we are in America. I wear this each and every day and I pray over my children each and every day so what I see happening on the streets of Atlanta 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," she explained. 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."
She encouraged rioters to pull up a video on YouTube of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, a white woman who was "appalled" when she saw the video of Floyd's death.
"You're not honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement. You're not protesting anything running out with brown liquor in your hands, breaking windows in this city," she said. "TI and Killer Mike own half the west side so when you burn down this city you're burning down our community."
Instead of looting and rioting, the mayor told people how to make long-lasting change in the United States: by going to the polls and voting.
"If you want change in America, go and register to vote, show up at the polls on June 9th. Do it in November. That is the change we need in this country. You are disgracing our city. You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country," Lance Bottoms explained. "We are better than this. We are better than this as a city. We are better than this as a country. Go home! Go home!"
The mayor chided the rioters for throwing knives at cops, burning cars and torching the CNN building.
"Ted Turner started CNN in Atlanta 40 years ago because he believed in who we are as a city. There was a black reporter who was arrested on camera this morning, who works for CNN, they're telling our stories, and you're disgracing their building," she said. "This is not the legacy of Civil Rights in America. This is chaos and we're buying into it."
Keisha Lance Bottoms actually said how most people feel. Destroying your own town, especially when the majority of the businesses are owned by people of color, does nothing but harm those who people are supposedly protesting on behalf of. George Floyd's fiance even said he was a man of faith and peace and he would be upset and appalled by what is taking place.