(Presidentialwire.com)- It was a mostly peaceful protest.
At a news conference on Saturday evening, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and Police Chief Darin Schierbaum discussed the arrest of several demonstrators following previous unruly rallies. The protesters were in attendance in response to Manuel “Tortuguita” Esteban Paez Teran’s death, a 26-year-old activist who shot a state trooper this week before dying when the police opened fire.
The Atlanta Police Foundation is housed in a skyscraper, and as protests over Teran’s death continued on Saturday, the Associated Press reported that the demonstrations eventually took a turn for the worst. Masked activists dressed in all black threw rocks and lit fireworks in front of a skyscraper that houses the Atlanta Police Foundation, shattering large glass windows. Then, as shocked onlookers dispersed, they set a police car on fire, broke additional windows, and spray-painted anti-police messages on the walls.
Despite this mayhem that broke out over the weekend in Atlanta, a guest on CNN claimed that it wouldn’t be fair to label demonstrators there as “violent.”
Schierbaum said that of the six detained demonstrators, “not a single Georgia native was in there.”
After the press conference, Pamela Brown met with freelancer David Peisner to get his opinion. Peisner objected to “a genuine blurring of the limits in the usage of the term “violence,” as he put it.
“Is destroying property violent?” He was asked.
“To a certain degree, it is. However, this notion that smashing windows or other acts of property damage are equivalent to genuine violence against people is a risky and shaky assumption,” Peisner said.
Peisner referred to Schierbaum’s statement that the demonstrators who were detained were a small, out-of-state group while criticizing the disruptive demonstrations as unproductive.
Following up, Juliette Kayyem of CNN acknowledged Peisner’s position but refuted it by claiming that “definitely violence” was occurring throughout the rally.
Peisner disagreed. Destruction of property is not violence. Sadly, Kayyem did not ask him if words were violence. It would have been interesting and informative to hear the answer.