An estimated 10,000 people flooded the streets of Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday for a massive Black Lives Matter march that remained largely peaceful and contained.
There was no violence reported and only three arrests were made, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The protest, which was against the recent police killings of black lives, was organized in part by the local NAACP chapter who praised police for practicing “exemplary” behavior during the demonstration. The organization told the AJC they contacted the city prior to the protest to inform them of their plans, and applauded Atlanta officers for their patience and “restraint.”
“They were patient and sensitive… (even when) it sort of got away from us,” Richard Rose, the president of Atlanta’s NAACP chapter, told the paper. “We started great for the first couple of hours, then the frustration… and the outrage was tough to contain. The police showed restraint.”
One Atlanta resident recorded a powerful moment on camera showing a hoard of protesters yelling chants as they marched through city:
Around 200 Atlanta police officers along with Georgia State Patrol officers were deployed to help cover the protest, none of whom were equipped with or dressed in riot gear.
“If it’s not necessary, then many times it is advantageous to have normally uniformed officers in place,” Atlanta Police Major T Darin Schierbaum told the AJC.
“The key is our continuing effort to build relationships with the community — to know and be in dialog with community groups when there are not times of tension,” he said. “Atlanta historically is an area of peaceful protests. The police department trains for that, trains for not taking a confrontational stance.”
America, take note.