The largest demonstration appeared to be in downtown Atlanta, where an estimated 2,000 protesters chanted, waved signs demanding justice and blocked part of Interstate 75/85 in a tense standoff with police.
Mayor Kasim Reed first tweeted, “”Today we have had less than ten people arrested during what has been a peaceful protest. We urge anyone protesting not to enter the highway.” Later he followed with a warning to protesters: “If you enter the highway, you endanger your own life, the lives of innocent motorists & the lives of our officers. We are better than that.”
The tweets were ignored. Footage from local news stations showed the crowd facing off with dozens of police vehicles that were stopped on a local interstate highway.
In Baltimore, about 200 people gathered in protest to march from McKeldin Square to the Baltimore police headquarters. Four people were arrested after some members of the group failed to comply with orders to move out of the street.
The FBI issued a riot alert in Louisiana. Judicial Watch reports the alert is dated July 7 and included disturbing images from social media, including one depicting a restrained uniformed police officer getting his throat slashed by a masked individual. Other social media images called for purging and killing all cops in Baton Rouge on July 9 and starting a riot by the courthouse in Shreveport. One social media post says, “It don’t matter what color you are.” Another says, “Must kill every police!!!!”
Demonstrations in Phoenix turned violent when protesters threw rocks and other objects at law enforcement officers during an anti-police brutality rally Friday night. Agitators shouted “We should shoot you!” to officers.
An estimated 1,000 participants chanted: “Black lives matter” and “Hands up, don’t shoot” as they marched. Officers escorting the march weren’t dressed in riot gear.