ATLANTA (AP) — Protesters caused extensive damage to the Georgia State Patrol headquarters in Atlanta early Sunday by sparking flames inside the building with fireworks, breaking windows and spraying graffiti, the agency said.
Department of Public Safety workers put out the fire, and two employees were treated for smoke inhalation, Georgia State Patrol Lt. Stephanie Stallings said in a statement. One of the agency's vehicles parked in front of the building also was damaged.
Video showed several dozen people outside and the sound of drums being played in the background. Smoke could be seen through a glass window of the building after a red flash was seen inside.
As many as 100 people dressed in dark clothing and wearing masks were outside the building, Stallings said. The incident was under investigation and no arrests had been made, the statement said.
The demonstration started peacefully, said Kimberly Krautter, who recorded video of the fire. "Only about three or four people" looked to be trying to vandalize the building, she said.
Lt. Stephanie L. Stallings of the Department of Public Safety disputed that the protest was largely peaceful.
"The group at HQ overnight came to destroy property. There was nothing peaceful about their motives while on property," she said in an emailed statement.
The building is located about 3 miles (5 kilometers) southeast of downtown. It also houses a number of other state agencies, news outlets reported.