Vandals outside of the Atlanta headquarters of CNN have sprayed graffiti on the large outdoor sculpture of the news networks' logo and broken the buildings' lobby windows amid a protest against police brutality amid the recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Sean Reed.
While WGCL reported that the protest outside the building began peacefully, with hundreds of onlookers watching while others lobbed water bottles, rocks and other projectiles. Meanwhile, CNN employees watched inside the building from behind its glass edifice as vandals kicked and smashed down the cracked windows.
Among the graffiti were spray-painted messages reading "#LOVE," "Not one more," "F*ck Trump" and "ACAB," an initialism that stands for "All Cops Are Bastards."
Vandals also broke windows on several police cars and also set a few on fire, according to local video reports. SWAT teams of police have since pushed protesters out of the area using tear gas and have taken at least seven people into custody, according to CNN.
State police arrived on the scene soon after wearing tactical gear after the protesters had already been pushed towards a main city intersection.
However, since night fell, protesters and vandals seem to have returned to have a stand-off with police. Police in tactical gear have formed a line within the CNN lobby, lobbing tear gas and shooting rubber bullets into the crowd while members of the crowd splashed liquid and tossed smoke bombs towards the police. Others threw rocks and fired BB pellets at police and people inside the building.
Another person appeared to throw an explosive firework into the lobby, showering the police in smoke and sparks of fire.
Violence has broken out during protests inside of seven different U.S. cities as demonstrators demand police accountability for the killings of Black citizens by police.
George Floyd is a black man who died in police custody after an MPD officer kneeled on his neck for nine minutes during an arrest. Floyd had allegedly given a counterfeit $20 bill to a diner cashier who notified the police.
Four Minneapolis police officers were fired after a video taken by a bystander showed an officer kneeling on Floyd's neck as Floyd repeatedly said, "I can't breathe." Floyd was later pronounced dead in police custody after being taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. Former Minneapolis Police Department Officer Derek Chauvin is currently in custody and has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death.
Breonna Taylor was an EMT who was shot and killed in her apartment last March by Louisville, Kentucky, police. Sean Reed was a 21-year-old shot to death by Indianapolis Police on May 6 following a high-speed chase. Police officers haven't yet faced charges in either of these cases; former officer Derek Chauvin, the officer who allegedly knelt on Floyd's neck, has been charged with third-degree murder.
Newsweek reached out to the Atlanta Police Department for further information. This story will be updated with any response.
Update (5/29/2020, 10:00 p.m.): This article has been updated to include video footage of a standoff between police and some demonstrators within the CNN building lobby.