Democratic Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms chastised rioters in her city in an emotional speech Friday, calling for peace.
Bottoms began by explaining that her heart had broken when she saw the viral video of George Floyd’s death in police custody, but that as a mother and as a leader, she still had to respond to protests that were turning violent. (RELATED: Atlanta Mayor Lays Blame On White House For Ahmaud Arbery Shooting)
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says the violent demonstrations in Atlanta are “disgracing the life of George Floyd”: “When you burn down this city, you’re burning down our community. If you want change in America, go and register to vote.” https://t.co/N5oZfxvFs3 pic.twitter.com/us3whIQnqu
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 30, 2020
“When I heard there were rumors about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do,” Bottoms explained. “I called my son and I said, ‘Where are you?’ I said, ‘I cannot protect you, and black boys shouldn’t be out today.'”
Bottoms went on to say that what was going on in Atlanta was not a protest, nor was it in the spirit of Civil Rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr.
“This is chaos. A protest has purpose. When Dr. King was assassinated, we didn’t do this to our city,” she said, adding, “If you care about this city, then go home.”
Bottoms concluded by telling the violent protesters that they were not only a disgrace to the city of Atlanta but that they were also “disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country.”
“When you burn down this city, you’re burning down our community. If you want change in America, go and register to vote,” she said.