Citizens in Atlanta are becoming terrified as protesters, armed with guns are prowling the burned-out area at Wendy’s, where Rayshard Brooks lost his life when a police officer shot him twice in the back.
Local residents have complained that protesters are intimidating them, and have “taken over” the property at Wendy’s, refusing to leave. Two people sustained gunshot injuries over the weekend in the area.
“My husband literally just missed getting caught in the crossfire when he was on his way home,” Kimberlee Jones told WXIA. “People have been shot and have been hurt.”
Jones lives about a mile away from Wendy’s and said it is hard to access her neighborhood since the group has taken over. Her mom was physically prevented from getting to her own house by the gang, as the roadblock they put up prevented her.
“They wouldn’t let her through and she felt intimidated,” Jones, a leader of the South Atlanta Civil League neighborhood association, said, reported Fox News.
“It’s physically draining, trying to figure out ways to get home, and it’s emotionally draining dealing with the upheaval and the noise and the explosions,” Jones said. “It’s an emotional drain.”
In another instance, a police officer was attacked by a demonstrator, after two people claimed the gang had prevented them from passing by Wendy’s after they stopped their car and attacked them.
“It’s scary to have someone come after you like that,” one of the victims told WSB-TV. “We take their side. We weren’t being disrespectful. We were just trying to get on the interstate. I was hit in the arms and the face and legs with the boulder.”
Jennifer Edwards said her car was stopped and surrounded by the group on University Avenue, as she attempted to drive through the area, and someone hoisted a large rock through her windscreen, reports 11Alive.
“They all had guns. They were all brandishing the guns to me from their waistbands,” Edwards said. “And that they were going to shoot me in the back of the head if I did get away.”
“The guy took his gun out of his waistband and started to point it at me,” she said. “I didn’t care, I just went around him. If I hit him, if I bumped him, sorry. I have to get away with my life.”
WSB-TV said according to several police sources, the authorities, now traveling in pairs, have been patrolling the area from “a distance.”
“Sad situation someone today and yesterday at Wendy’s that is blocked off by armed young men with long guns and pistols,” City Council President Felicia Moore tweeted over the weekend. “All businesses surrounded are boarded. The tension is in the air and emotions are raw. Police are not in sight. Is this Atlanta? No! We must rise up!”
Sad situation someone today and yesterday at Wendy’s that is blocked off by armed young men with long guns and pistols. All businesses surrounding are boarded. The tension is in the air and emotions are raw. Police are not in sight. Is this Atlanta? No! We must rise up! pic.twitter.com/At86bIAQYL
— Felicia Moore (@FeliciaAMoore) June 21, 2020
Civil unrest has increased with the funeral of Rayshard Brooks on Tuesday, June 23 at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. The Rev. Bernice A. King, the daughter of the late civil rights leader and CEO of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, spoke at the service.
“We really should not be here today, this should not have happened to Rayshard,” King said.