What started as a peaceful protest in memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery on the afternoon of Friday, May 29, escalated into the destruction of multiple buildings around Centennial Olympic Park by nightfall. The protests, which took a drastic turn after an Atlanta Police Department vehicle was set on fire, ravaged on through the night as groups of protesters made their way to Buckhead, breaking into many stores within Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square Mall.
WSB-TV’s live coverage of the protests showed a Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) car on fire around 9:50 p.m. near Centennial Olympic Park. In a statement from GTPD it was confirmed that members of the department were called in to assist with the protests that occurred less than a mile from Tech’s campus.
“Last night, GTPD officers responded downtown to assist the Atlanta Police Department. Three GTPD squad cars were damaged downtown during the protest, but thankfully no officers were injured,” wrote GTPD.
The Atlanta Police Department also reported that 20 of their squad cars were damaged. Many protesters targeted and attacked parked police vehicles with bricks, rocks and barricades, along with spray-painted anti-police phrases.
It is not apparent that the protests made their way to Tech’s campus, but a photograph surfaced on the Tech subreddit of what appears to be a broken window in the North Avenue Dining Hall. The GTPD crime log indicates that there is an active case of “Criminal Damage to Property” at the dining hall from sometime last night, although it remains unclear if the incident is connected to the protests.