CNN Headquarters in Atlanta Vandalized During Protests Over Police Killings

Furious Demonstrators Swarm CNN Center in Atlanta

CNN Center, the cable network’s Atlanta headquarters, came under attack Friday night during protests over police brutality sparked by the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis.

A largely peaceful demonstration erupted near the downtown office building. Cops used pepper spray, and then some in the crowd were seen smashing windows and defacing the giant CNN sign with spray-paint. Down the street, a vehicle could be seen ablaze.

CNN correspondent Nick Valencia began reporting on the frightening scene from a stairway inside the building, behind a phalanx of SWAT officers in the lobby, with an angry mob standing on the other side of the broken and missing windows.

“I have a daughter and wife I want to get home to tonight,” Valencia told anchor Chris Cuomo.

Protesters lobbed objects at the windows and into the lobby, and at least one officer was struck. What appeared to be a flash-bang device landed in front of cops and large gusts of smoke went up into the air.

One protester breached the building and was immediately arrested by cops as Valencia shouted questions at him, asking why he was there. “Change,” he replied.

As the violence flared and the situation in the lobby became more precarious, cops began firing tear gas and the crowd quickly began to thin out.

In a Friday evening press conference, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was visibly angry as she told protestors to “go home.”

“What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest, This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. This is chaos. A protest has a purpose,” Bottoms said. “When Dr. King was assassinated, we didn't do this to our city. If you want to change in Amerca, go and register to vote... that is the change we need in this country.”

The tense scene unfolded just hours after CNN found itself at the center of the story about protests in Minneapolis, where George Floyd died, pleading “I can’t breathe” while a police officer kneeled on his neck.

Reporter Omar Jimenez and members of his crew were arrested by state police while covering fiery demonstrations in the city—prompting the governor of Minnesota to issue a public apology.

“There is absolutely no reason something like this should happen. Calls were made immediately. This is a very public apology to that team. It should not happen,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a Friday news conference, adding that he took “full responsibility” for the early-morning incident. “I failed you last night in that.”

CNN Headquarters in Atlanta Vandalized During Protests Over Police Killings CNN Headquarters in Atlanta Vandalized During Protests Over Police Killings Reviewed by Anson Moore on May 29, 2020 Rating: 5

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