In Atlanta, filmmaker Tyler Perry condemned looting, asking residents to "stop this violence" during the protests of police brutality following George Floyd's death. Perry asked residents to listen to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, adding that "looting is not the answer." On Monday, Perry said he spoke with members of Floyd's family, who agreed that protests should be peaceful.
On Saturday, Perry shared a video from one of Bottoms' press conferences on the protests. In the speech, Bottoms denounced violence in Atlanta, noting it was not a protest and "not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos." Bottoms noted that there was no looting after King was assassinated in 1968. "So if you love this city – this city that has had a legacy of black mayors and black police chiefs and people who care about this city, where more than 50 percent of the business owners in metro Atlanta are minority business owners – if you care about this city, then go home," Bottoms said.
I’m not in Atlanta, but if I were I would have been standing with our Mayor! But there was nothing I could say better than what Mayor @KeishaBottoms said last night! Please, please stop this violence!! Looting is NOT THE ANSWER!!!! Continued: https://t.co/yePGJUaGVV— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) May 30, 2020
In addition to his plea with Atlanta residents to listen to Bottoms, Perry also warned residents that outside influence may be trying to incite violence. "There are people and other countries who are posting things pretending to be US, pretending to stand for peaceful protest, but they are trying to incite us into violence and chaos to try and do more harm," Perry wrote. "Do not fall for this foolishness!!! Please stop the violence!"
In another statement on Monday, Perry said he spent "the past few days" speaking with "people who don't look like me, people who may not believe what I believe, people who don’t know what it’s like to be black in America but were willing to listen...white people who are Republicans and Democrats, with different opinions, different views, and different ideas and strategies on how to stop this! White people with the power to have this go either way." He also spoke with Floyd's family, and they are "adamant in their call" for peaceful protests.
I spent the past few days with an extremely heavy heart, having very high level conversations with people who don’t look like me, people who may not believe what I believe, people who don’t know what it’s like to be black in America... continued:https://t.co/Y79NxYU0P7— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) June 1, 2020
Floyd died in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis. Officer Derek Chauvin, who has since been fired, kept his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes, even after Floyd lost consciousness. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. On Monday, Floyd's family released the results of an independent autopsy, which found Floyd's death was a "homicide caused by asphyxia." The pathologists did not believe agree with Minneapolis police, who said underlying health issues may have played a role in Floyd's death. "Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That's not true," Dr. Michael Baden, who conducted the autopsy with Dr. Allecia Wilson, said Monday.