Outrage boils over in Atlanta, other cities
Tom Watson;Robert Davis
ATLANTA - Outrage over the King trial verdict flared across the nation,
erupting in violence here.
But police moved in swiftly to force angry mobs from downtown, where
windows were smashed, cars overturned and people beaten.
Mayor Maynard Jackson imposed a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. today, saying
he'd never seen such destruction in his city. Almost 100 people were arrested and
two dozen hurt - one man suffered critical head injuries.
``This is how Rodney King felt,'' rioters yelled as they stomped on a white man
and ripped off his shirt.
The demonstrators - at one point swelling to about 300 - defied pleas from
community leaders to stay calm and began smashing glass and overturning cars
outside the Capitol.
``All around here, store fronts have been bashed in. They're beating up white
people. It's a very tense situation,'' said Love Skyers, a shopkeeper at the Five
Points Flea Market.
But 500 officers from several police agencies swarmed the area clad in riot gear.
Police sealed off downtown at 3 p.m., moving people out of the area.
As darkness took over the city, police remained poised for the worst.
``We don't know what to expect, but we're prepared for anything,'' said Julius
Derico, a division chief who headed the police sweep.
Police said non-violent college students were replaced by rowdier demonstrators
as the mob moved.
``We're arresting as many as we can,'' police Lt. Louis Arcangeli said.
- San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan declared a state of emergency and ordered a
curfew after crowds smashed department store windows and overturned cars in
downtown areas. Earlier, hundreds of protesters took over two highways,
jamming traffic on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
- In Las Vegas, a mob roamed the west side, setting fires and firing shots, which
hit one officer in the leg. Police closed the area and imposed a curfew.
- In Madison, Wis., windows of 34 patrol cars were smashed at a city garage.
Notes left at the scene: ``Justice for King'' and ``All pigs must die.
- In Denver, demonstrators called for a citizen review commission.
- In Cleveland, protesters at City Hall chased a passing van flying Confederate
and Nazi flags.
- In Boston, a call went out for residents to wear black ribbons in protest.
- In Chicago, city officials were out talking with community leaders to alleviate
tensions. They'll also visit schools.
- In San Diego, 1,000 college and high school students walked out of class.
College students burned cops in effigy.
- In Tampa, Fla., dozens of youths threw rocks and bottles and set fires. Two
teens were arrested after shots were fired at police.
Contributing: Jonathan T. Lovitt and Phil Wong
CUTLINE:DOWNTOWN ATLANTA: A white man is kicked by young blacks
on Forsyth Street on Thursday after a peaceful demonstration turned violent.
PHOTO;b/w,W.A. Bridges Jr.,AP