Stone Mtn. Park considers how to cap volatile protests

Police and firefighters form a line behind a burning barricade set up by counter-protesters at Stone Mountain Park on Saturday afternoon April 23, 2016. A white power protest and two counter protests took place at the park. Ben Gray / bgray@ajc.com

Officials with Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park, a major metro Atlanta attraction for tourists and locals, are scouring laws trying to avoid the kind of protests that turned violent on Saturday.

Law enforcement officials had hoped to limit the potential for trouble before three Saturday rallies, including a “white power” gathering and two counter protests. But counter-protesters sometimes violently confronted police.

John Bankhead, a spokesman for the Stone Mountain Memorial Association which oversees the state-owned park, said the organization is looking for other steps it can take.

“We are further examining the options that might be available under park ordinances, Georgia law and Federal law to prevent or control such volatile events in the future,” he wrote in an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We will be looking at all additional options available to balance the safety of the public vs. the right to freedom of speech.”

Meanwhile, some families with children that paid to enter the park Saturday didn’t know trouble was brewing. Find out what was disclosed to them by the private Gwinnett-based business that operates attractions and gates at the park, in my latest Unofficial Business column on myAJC.com.

 

Reader Comments 0

6 comments
JIM ROUSE
JIM ROUSE

What about the racist black hate group Black Panthers that showed up wearing their T-shirts with black fist on them , no mention of them in the article . But made a big deal about the 6 kkk members . Bias p.o.s yahoo new . One group is no better than the other .

GhettoScum1
GhettoScum1

But it's alright for blacks to be racist, kill cops while taking their guns, driving off while cop is hanging onto the car during traffic stop! It's all racist when cops have to kill thugs for trying to kill them! Black live matter is RACIST, and it's OK to have "Black Power" , but whit powers is racist as proven by this news story!

Evelyn Tucker
Evelyn Tucker

@GhettoScum1 what you fail to mention the blacks would not react that way if not provoked by these white devils that claim we are not human and should be done away with. You also fail to mention that black arent the only ones offing police officers, school kids, people trying to just watch a movie and their own families.. so before you want to point out the wrong doings of one group, make sure to include the others

P S
P S

It wasn't the White Protesters that caused the trouble..

AUfish0084
AUfish0084

And who exactly organized the counter protests, the groups that turned violent and needed to destroy things?  How about showing us a picture of them.  What is their race, political affiliation, who they support, their agenda, etc.  How about trying to be just a bit more informed and informing us of the truth.  Your bias is so over the top...

betsy smith
betsy smith

@AUfish0084  Actually, THIS article is biased.  Of course, they would say the anti-KKK protesters started the trouble.  What?  By saying what was on their minds?  Freedom of Speech & all.  From what I gathered, there were MORE white people in the anti-KKK protester group than whites in the KKK group.  WHAT does THAT tell you?  It tells me there are more GOOD people than UGLY HATEFUL BIGOTS in this country.  Go figure.