Chamblee54

04-30-92

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on April 30, 2016








Doug Richards is an Atlanta tv news reporter. He writes a blog, live apartment fire. He was on the scene twenty four years ago. There was a riot downtown. Mr. Richards had a bad night.

PG was working in the Healey building that day. He ran an RMS, or reprographic management service, in an architects office. He had a blueline machine, ran jobs for the customer, and had free time. PG did a lot of exploring, and enjoyed the various events downtown. On April 30, 1992, there was an event he did not enjoy.

The day before, a jury in California issued a verdict. Four policemen were acquitted of wrongdoing in an incident involving Rodney King. The incident had been videotaped, and received widespread attention. The verdict of the jury was not popular. The dissatisfaction spread to Atlanta.

Sometimes, PG thinks he has a guardian angel looking over him. If so, then this thursday afternoon was one of those times. PG went walking out into the gathering storm. He was a block south of the train station at five points, when he saw someone throw a rock into a store front. The sheet metal drapes were rolled down on the outside of the store. PG realized that he was not in a good place, and quickly made his way back to the Healey building.

A group of policeman were lined up in the lobby of the building, wearing flack jackets. One of the police was a white man, who was familiar to workers in the neighborhood. A few weeks before the incident, he had been walking around the neighborhood showing off his newborn baby.

There was very little work done that afternoon in the architect’s office. Someone said not to stand close to the windows, which seemed like a good idea. Fourteen floors below, on Broad Street, the window at Rosa’s Pizza had a brick thrown threw it. There were helicopters hovering over downtown, making an ominous noise.

There was a lot of soul searching about race relations that day. The Olympics were coming to town in four years, and the potential for international disaster was apparent. As it turned out, the disturbance was limited to a few hundred people. It could have been much, much worse. If one percent of the anger in Atlanta had been unleashed that day, instead of .001 percent, the Olympics would have been looking for a new host.

After a while, the people in the office were called into the lobby. The Principal of the firm, the partner in charge of production, walked out to his vehicle with PG and a lady in operations. The principal drove an inconspicuous vehicle, which made PG feel a bit better. PG took his pocketknife, opened the blade, and put it in his back pocket. It probably would not have done him much good.

PG usually took the train downtown. As fate would have it, there was a big project at the main office of redo blue on West Peachtree Street. That is where PG’s vehicle was, in anticipation of working overtime that night. The principal drove PG to this building. PG called his mother, to let her know that he was ok. The Atlanta manager of Redo Blue talked to him, to make sure that he was not hurt.

If PG had not gone back downtown the next day, he might not have ever gone back. He was back at the West Peachtree Street office, and was assured that it was safe to ride the train into town. The Macy’s at 180 Peachtree had plywood nailed over the display windows. A gift shop in the Healey building had a sign in the window, “Black owned business”. Friday May 1, 1992, was a quiet day.

This is a repost. The events of twenty four years ago are mostly forgotten in Atlanta. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.







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One Response

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  1. 04-30-2017 | Chamblee54 said, on April 30, 2017 at 11:19 am

    […] it was. On this day 25 years ago, PG was downtown during a riot. There is a post about this day, 04-30-92, which is repeated below. The idea was to repeat an old story on a slack sunday. Chamblee54 […]


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