On the evening of Aug. 25, protesters gathered at the small McDonough park in downtown Atlanta not far from Centennial Olympic Park. The protest was organized in response to the shooting of Jacob S. Blake, a 29-year-old American black man, who was allegedly shot on Aug. 23 from behind seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisc. Police were attempting to arrest Blake during a domestic dispute, during which time Blake was tased and scuffled briefly with officers. (Blake is reportedly in ICU and paralyzed, but doctors don’t know if permanently.)
Not long after the group began moving towards Ted Turner Drive, some of the group in Black Bloc (protesters dressed in all black in an attempt to protect their identities) began to pick up the mobile fences that were laying around the park. As they moved closer to the precinct, their destination became obvious: the Zone 5 Precinct at Ted Turner Drive. Protesters used the fences to take over and block the intersection between Ted Turner Drive and Andrew Young International Boulevard outside of the precinct, using steel bars at a construction site at the intersection to build makeshift barriers.
Soon after, a protester threw a rock through a window of the precinct, and police forces began to encroach on the protesters. A woman was spray painting the side of the precinct was grabbed by an officer in an attempt to arrest her, however protesters were able to “de-arrest” her by overwhelming the officer, who used pepper spray to push back the crowd of protesters that had begun to rush him. Soon after, more officers rushed to the scene and began to directly confront the protesters, resulting in fireworks being thrown by protesters at the police as the protesters attempted to escape up Andrew Young Boulevard, turning left on Peachtree Street. Protesters then continued walking down the street, as they were kettled by a Georgia State Patrol armored vehicle, which used rubber bullets against protesters in the street.
Protesters were observed for the first time, according to the AJT, throwing molotov cocktails at the vehicle. The State Patrol vehicle responded with more rubber bullets against the protesters in the street, some attempting to use metal garbage cans to block the way of the vehicle, as well as throwing a can of tear gas. Protesters eventually were forced into more residential parts of the Old Fourth Ward, where some overturned trash cans and other objects into the roadway in an attempt to block police vehicles, which were following them.
Eventually, Atlanta Police detained protesters in neighborhoods off Boulevard in the Old Fourth Ward, as protesters dispersed in different directions in an attempt to escape officers. Atlanta Jail Support, a group that supports protesters who get arrested, were aware of at least six who had been arrested at the Jacob Blake protests. It is has been reported that there are eight in custody but the AJT has not verified the remaining two at this time.There are reports of further protests currently planned for Friday night.