Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for demonstrators to show their anger through "non-violent activism" in a statement addressing the protests in the city Friday night.
“What we saw overnight was not a protest, and it was not Atlanta. We as a people are strongest when we use our voices to heal our city instead of using our hands to tear it down," the statement said.
"We know our citizens are angry. We are angry and we want justice. If we are to enact change in this nation, I implore everyone to channel their anger and sorrow into something more meaningful and effective through non-violent activism," the mayor added.
Bottoms said the Department of Public Works deployed crews Saturday morning to start cleaning up the streets and the Department of Transportation is working to remove graffiti from public buildings.
Bottoms also said in the statement that the city is coordinating with neighboring jurisdictions "to provide additional public safety resources" and with the governor’s office to provide assistance from the National Guard.
“Now, more than ever, I am calling on our communities to come together to show our strength as one Atlanta through prayer and working together to restore and heal our city as an example for the nation," Bottoms said in the statement.