PRESS RELEASE Protest August 15, 2020

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE 
 
Saturday, August 15, 2020 
 
With regards to the protest that took place within the limits of the City of Stone Mountain, Georgia today, August 15th, 2020, the City’s Officials and Administration offer the following statement: 
 
Opposing groups of an estimated 200 protesters did enter into the City of Stone Mountain this morning, with the initial intent to parade through the City into Stone Mountain Park for demonstration. As a result of Stone Mountain Park’s decision to close the Park, the demonstrators chose to protest within the downtown area of the City. Some of the protesters were armed. 
 
It is the City’s policy that a permit, issued by the office of the City Manager, is required for any person to engage, participate in, aid, form, or start any assembly or parade. No permit was issued to any group by the Administration Office of the City. However, in pursuit of the safety and protection of the City’s citizens, visitors, all law enforcement officers, and property, and to deter acts of riot, the City’s Police Chief made a decision to allow the protestors to assemble and/or parade while maintaining police presence. The goal was to allow all sides to have an opportunity to express their constitutional right to freedom of speech, without a major disruption of peace. The gatherings ended with no injury, no arrests, and no property damage. Minor altercations did occur within the course of the event, however, it was the position of the Stone Mountain Police not to escalate or to engage until the situation needed to be control by such force, and until there was sufficient law enforcement presence at the scene to adequately and effectively engage. 
 
The City of Stone Mountain Police Department and City Officials thank the Local and State agencies (approximately 135 agents) that supported today’s successful efforts. The City thanks DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond for DeKalb County resources provided by way of the Dekalb County Police Department and for use of DeKalb County Emergency Centers under the direction of Director J. Lumpkin. Additional thanks is offered to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and DeKalb County Marshals. Special appreciation is extended to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency that collaborated with our Stone Mountain PD to coordinate support services from the Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Department of Corrections, and Georgia National Guard. 
 
City of Stone Mountain, Georgia 
 
Patricia Wheeler, Mayor
 
ChaQuias Miller-Thornton, City Manager

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