An Atlanta police officer stunned demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd by sympathizing with them and admitting they ‘have a right to be p***** off.’
Hundreds of demonstrators descended on the streets of Atlanta, Georgia, in protests over the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes.
As 500 National Guard soldiers dispatch to embattled cities and authorities clash with civilians, Officer Z. Murphy’s compassionate approach resonated with demonstrators on Friday.
Cell phone footage shows Officer Murphy telling a group of protestors he understands their anger because he’s had similar conversations about police brutality with his sons.
Officer Z. Murphy (pictured) spoke with protestors they ‘have a right to be p***** off’ over the death of George Floyd on Friday
‘I do, alright, I have a son who’s 31, I have a son who’s 15, alright, and I have to have these conversations with him all the time,’ Murphy says.
Officers at the scene were reportedly telling protestors to leave via loudspeakers, but later realized this was the wrong approach.
‘What was going on up here was wrong, that’s why we brought it to a stop. The loudspeaker, the yakking, and the yapping,’ he said.
‘We said pause, let these people remain here, let them stay on the street, let them express their grievances because you have a right to be p***** off.’
Murphy (pictured): ‘We said pause, let these people remain here, let them stay on the street, let them express their grievances…’
Murphy (pictured) was one of several officers who oversaw protests on Friday following three nights of demonstrations around the country
One protestor then interjects that officers ‘over there, they don’t feel the same way.’
‘That’s why I told them to shut the f*** up,’ Murphy replied.
The group of protestors cheered and Murphy fist-bumped one of the men.
One person called out to Murphy to say that he needs to give his understanding energy to some of his fellow colleagues.
‘One at a time, my brother, one at a time,’ says Murphy.
Footage of the conversation was shared to Twitter where it has received more than 346,000 likes and 108,300 retweets as of Saturday afternoon.
The George Floyd protests in Atlanta are just one of several that have erupted since he died on Monday.
George Floyd (pictured) said ‘I can’t breathe’ when Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes
Following Floyd’s death, all four officers pictured in cell phone footage of the incident were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department
Cell phone video showed Floyd, handcuffed and pinned to the ground, with one police officer – Derek Chauvin – kneeling on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Floyd was unresponsive.
Derek Chauvin (pictured in his mugshot) has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter
Floyd, 46, is heard pleading: ‘I can’t breathe’, as he is arrested by four cops for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. He later died at a local hospital.
Outrage sparked across the country and Minneapolis Mayor Mayor Jacob called for Chauvin to face criminal charges.
All four officers involved were subsequently fired. On Friday, Chauvin was was officially charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd’s death.
Protests have since popped up in several US cities, including Minneapolis, New York City, Atlanta, Phoenix, Columbus, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Louisville.
Chaos exploded in Atlanta as demonstrators stormed and destroyed the CNN headquarters and fired a smoke bomb at cops trying to form a barrier to keep them out.
The National Guard was activated in Georgia late Friday night with as many as 500 troops deployed to Atlanta and a state of emergency issued following the destruction of CNN and looting at a luxury shopping mall.
Protestors in Atlanta, Georgia, vandalized the CNN headquarters building during demonstrations Friday night
Pictured: Thousands gathered in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park before marching through the city streets to protest police violence in Minneapolis, Minnesota
In addition to local authorities, the National Guard has been dispatched to cities like Minneapolis, St. Paul and Atlanta
On Friday night, widespread looting and arson continued in Minneapolis and nearby St. Paul, in defiance of curfews there, and protests spilled into violence in 30 cities, as a federal agent in California and a protester in Detroit were shot dead.
Earlier in the day, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz suggested domestic terrorists or foreign influences might be subverting peaceful protests and turning them to violence.
‘Last night is a mockery of pretending that this is about George Floyd’s death, or inequities, or historical traumas to our communities of color,’ said Walz, a Democrat, at a press conference.
‘The situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd, it is about attacking civil society, instilling fear, and disrupting our great cities,’ Walz said.
‘As you saw this expand across the United States, and you start to see whether it be domestic terrorism, whether it be ideological extremists to fan the group, or whether it be international destabilization of how our country works,’ he continued.
Authorities said Floyd (pictured) was initially detained over allegations he tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store
Pictured: After a peaceful march of hundreds to the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on Friday
Pictured: Demonstrators shout slogans against police officers standing guard in front of the Los Angeles Police Department next to the City Hall during protests over the Minneapolis fatal arrest of George Floyd
On Friday night, Walz hinted that white supremacists and drug cartels may be fueling violence or taking advantage of the chaos in the rioting.
The chaos in Minneapolis was mirrored in cities across the nation on Friday night, as National Guard units were called into Atlanta and put on standby in Washington DC, and two people were fatally shot in separate incidents in California and Detroit.
In Oakland, California, two officers with the Federal Protective Service – a part of Homeland Security created to protect government facilities – were shot, one fatally, in confrontations with protesters. Police are investigating.
A 19-year-old protestor was shot dead in Detroit, Michigan, and in Brooklyn, a police van was set ablaze and a mob tried to storm the 88th police precinct, and besieged the 84th precinct.
Demonstrators rocked a police van, set it ablaze, scrawled graffiti across its charred wreckage and set it on fire again as officers retreated. Blocks away, protesters used a club to batter another police vehicle.
President Trump on Saturday blamed ‘ANTIFA and the Radial Left’ were responsible for the violent some protests have taken.