Athens-Clarke County police are warning peaceful protesters and the general public to be vigilant after cameras caught a disturbing moment in town.
According to a video released by the department on Saturday, a man was seen dropping items in planters in the area of College Avenue and Broad Street. They went to the location and found railroad spikes.
They now fear there may be an attempt to use them to disrupt peaceful demonstrations in the city and suggest that the spikes are the same kinds seen across the country when attacks have taken place.
11Alive hasn't received any specific information on violent acts that occurred through the daylight hours of Saturday. In fact, the police department confirmed later in the evening that they made no arrests in the protests that day. However, they're asking the public to be cautious.
Police also appeared to be taking extra precautions. Earlier on Saturday, a Georgia Department of Public Safety helicopter was reportedly flying in the area.
But, in their video, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department also addressed the death that sparked nationwide protests. The video ended with words from the city's police chief, Cleveland Spruill, condemning the violence against George Floyd by Minneapolis officers. The message also said that his office supports the district attorney's decision to place criminal charges against the officers.
Anyone who sees suspicious activity in Athens is asked to report it immediately by calling 911 or sending a tip by text message to 888777 with the keyword DOWNTOWNACC.