Dunwoody Village drew about 60 demonstrators — plus the mayor and police chief — June 2 as nationwide protests about racism and policing came to the suburbs.
The local protest was organized by Heather Sabel-Sowers of Dunwoody’s Mill Glen subdivision. She said she wanted an event her children and other families could join to as part of the democratic process to seek reforms of historic racism.
“I think like a lot of people with children, there’s been a lot of hard conversation we’ve had to have,” she said in a phone interview before the protest. “Honestly, we’re having to talk to them about injustice, racism and, in fact, murder by police officers. And it’s just really hard.”
During the protest at Mount Vernon and Chamblee-Dunwoody roads, she held a sign reading, “Treat others how you want to be treated.”
“I would have come out here by myself today, but I am so pleased of the support and turnout from Dunwoody families,” she said. “This is way worth the effort.”
Among the protesters was Dunwoody resident Sheila Levy, who held a sign reading, “You don’t have to be black to be outraged.” Echoing a nationwide theme of a long string of killings of black people, she said she originally wrote the slogan for a protest three years earlier in Decatur.
“I’m unfortunately having to use this sign again,” she said.
Protesters cited several recent controversial cases. The nationwide protest trigger was the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minnesota, who died as a police officer knelt on his neck despite pleas from him and bystanders that it was killing him; the officer is now charged with murder and manslaughter. Another case was the March killing of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, who was shot by officers during a no-knock search warrant entry on her home. Yet another was the February shooting of Ahmaud Arbery near Brunswick, Georgia, an unarmed jogger who was confronted by two armed white residents who claimed he acted suspiciously.
The Dunwoody Village demonstration was the second such protest to be held that day in the city. An earlier protest gathered outside City Hall and police headquarters on Ashford-Dunwoody Road.
Photos by Phil Mosier