The Justice for Black Lives rally protesting police violence against African Americans ended peacefully early Sunday morning, in contrast to the tear-gassing of demonstrators who defied a curfew order last weekend.
According to ACCPD:
The Athens-Clarke County Police Department would like to thank our community for two successful, peaceful demonstrations. In conjunction with several agencies, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department was able to facilitate a safe environment for the residents to exercise their constitutional 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech and right of assembly, as well as keeping the property and businesses of Athens-Clarke County secure and free from harm.
These goals could not have been accomplished without the help of the other agencies involved in this effort, and the support of our Athens community and event organizers. Residents peacefully expressed their concerns, unified together as a community, and took care of each other during and after the scheduled events.
It’s unclear what the other successful, peaceful demonstration ACCPD was referring to.
A further statement attributed to ACC Manager Blaine Williams read:
Yesterday, Athenians from all walks of life came together downtown to articulate their frustrations, concerns, and anxiety, along with their hopes for the future. Thank you to the organizers and the participants for exercising their rights to assemble and peacefully demonstrate. I also want to thank law enforcement for working long hours to prepare and ensure the safety of the events for everyone involved, as well as our staff from the Leisure Services Department and the Central Services Department. As we continue to work on our local challenges and strive to serve as a model for other communities, know that the Unified Government is committed to constantly evaluating our processes and procedures to learn from them and better everything we do. Every one of Athens-Clarke County’s residents deserves no less.
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