Gov. Kemp declares State of Emergency for Fulton County, activates National Guard

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ATLANTA (41NBC/WMGT) Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a State of Emergency for Fulton County early Saturday morning following protests that led to vandalism.

“At the request of Mayor @KeishaBottoms & in consultation with public safety & emergency preparedness officials, I have issued a State of Emergency for Fulton County to activate as many as 500 @GeorgiaGuard troops to protect people and property in Atlanta,” Kemp tweeted just after midnight.

Kemp said the Georgia National Guard will deploy immediately to assist state and local law enforcement agencies “who are working tirelessly to subdue unlawful activity & restore peace.”

“We will continue to make all state resources available to local leaders during this emergency situation,” Kemp continued.

Kemp’s decision came after Bottoms pleaded with residents to go home.

“This city that has had a legacy of black mayors and black police chiefs,” Bottoms said. “if you care about this city, then go home. This won’t change anything.”

Protests spread across the country Friday following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota Monday. The CNN Center, Omni Hotel and College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta were vandalized, and at least one Atlanta Police cruiser was set on fire. WSB-TV also reported damage and looting in Buckhead.

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer who was videoed with his knee on Floyd’s neck prior to Floyd’s death, was arrested Friday and charged with 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Friday he anticipates charges for other officers who were present when Floyd died.

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