Governor Kemp declares 15-day state of emergency after violent protests – WSB-TV Channel 2

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a 15-day state of emergency in Georgia and deployed the National Guard in anticipation of continued protests against a proposed Atlanta police training center.

As part of the emergency declaration, Kemp requested that 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops be made available by the Georgian Ministry of Defense.

According to the order, the troops will be called up for active duty if necessary.

The state of emergency will remain in effect until February 9.

(DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for news alerts)

Last week, the Georgia State Patrol and other agencies were at the site of the proposed facility clearing out protesters who had camped in the forest for months.


The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said one of the protesters, Manuel Teran, 26, shot a state trooper and was later killed by return fire. The soldier, who has not been identified for security reasons, is expected to survive.

Teran’s friends, nicknamed “Tortuguita”, have repeatedly claimed since the shooting that they were peaceful protesters.

On Saturday evening, a group of hundreds of protesters gathered in the Atlanta metro before marching downtown. Protesters then set fire to a police car and smashed the windows of several businesses. Six protesters were arrested.

The state of emergency “grants the governor the power to empower the Georgia National Guard to control riots and unlawful assemblies.”

The state of emergency was declared moments after Memphis police announced felony charges against five officers accused of killing a man during a traffic stop on January 10. Tire Nichols died three days after authorities said he fled after being arrested for suspicious driving.

Police say officers had two “confrontations” with Nichols and he later complained of shortness of breath. He was taken to hospital, where he later died, according to WHBQ.

The director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the video of the confrontation was “absolutely appalling”. Officials announced Thursday afternoon that the video would be released to the public sometime after 7 p.m. ET on Friday.

It is unclear whether Kemp’s declaration of a state of emergency was made in anticipation of the video’s release, although some groups have said they will protest in Atlanta after the video’s release.

Atlanta police released a statement Thursday afternoon that read:

“We are closely monitoring events in Memphis and stand ready to support peaceful protests in our city. We understand and share the outrage surrounding the death of Tire Nichols. Police officers are expected to conduct themselves in a compassionate, competent and constitutional manner and these police officers have failed Tyr, their communities and their profession. We ask that protests be safe and peaceful.

Channel 2 Action News has contacted the governor’s office for a response.