ATLANTA (AP) — A peaceful protest against the planned construction of a police department training center in an Atlanta suburb turned violent on its fringes Saturday, with groups smashing windows and damaging a police vehicle and other property, news reports and authorities said.
Television station WSB-TV showed what it said was at least one police car that had been set on fire as well as broken windows and a damaged ATM in a downtown Atlanta area popular among tourists. Firetrucks were at the scene along with a heavy police presence.
A police statement said the groups damaged property at several locations along Peachtree Street, a corridor of hotels and restaurants, adding that several arrests were made and “order was quickly restored to the Downtown space."
There were no immediate reports of any injuries.
“This is still an active and ongoing investigation and we will not be able to provide specifics on arrests numbers or property damaged, at this time," police said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.
WSB-TV reported that the protest was in opposition to plans to build the police training center in a wooded area of DeKalb County on the city's outskirts. It said hundreds gathered at a downtown commercial complex, Underground Atlanta, before groups began moving down Peachtree Street.