Several metro Atlanta businesses close early ahead of anticipated unrest

There is a level of uncertainty in downtown Atlanta ahead of the release of the Tyre Nichols video.
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 6:35 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - There is a level of uncertainty in downtown Atlanta. Hundreds of law enforcement officers rolled into the city with the goal of keeping protests peaceful.

Brian Bullock is one of the owners of Legacy Ventures. They run four restaurants on Marietta Street including STATS, which sustained millions of dollars in damages during the riots of 2020.

“It’s not acceptable to do destruction. It’s acceptable to have your First Amendment rights honored and protest peacefully but it’s not acceptable to do all the damage to businesses, the buildings, and people,” Bullock said.

Since 2020, he said they have installed 25 new security cameras and their first priority is to keep their employees and patrons safe. It explains why they closed their businesses early Friday.

“The gathering is 100 yards away. It coincides with the same time they are releasing the video. Our understanding is it’s a devastating, very sad thing to watch that will be very emotional. And very sad that we’re back in this position as a country and us in Atlanta specifically we’re just being cautious,” Bullock said.

At this time, they do not intend to board up their doors or windows even though some businesses have in the area. The owner said they want to be prepared for the worst, but they don’t want to assume the worst.

“The good news is we have an unbelievable Mayor;. Mayor Dickens is very focused. We had a little bit of a different political environment in 2020. Gov. Kemp is awesome and both of them working together as we all saw with their press conference last week that really gives us a lot of comfort,” Bullock said.