ATLANTA — Downtown Atlanta has seen Black Lives Matter protests in the past, including just four years ago in July. It was a protest against police brutality, similar to the ones we are seeing now.
Taos Wynn, Millennial Civil Rights president, said protests are necessary, but they are just one part of creating meaningful change.
"Keep the pressure after all the protesters are gone and they are no longer crowding the streets around Centennial Park," he said.
"Stay on your elected officials, and see the change through," Wynn advised.
The 2016 protest came after Devaris Caine Rogers was shot and killed as James Burns responded to a call that someone was breaking into cars near Monroe Drive. Burns claimed Rogers tried to run him over. An internal investigation found no evidence of that. Burns was fired and charged with murder, but - four years later - no trial date has been set.
Wynn said the need to highlight injustice against black Americans continues, and with it, sustained unified action.
"Just as we commit to these popularized protests and the necessary protests during this time, we also have to commit to the information gathering, so that everybody really knows how to address these issues and we can move forward collectively," he added.
So, once these protests are over, what's next?
Wynn said voting and participating in the Census are crucial in seeing change.
"We have to exercise the power that we have through the vote and through the ballot. Now that's not going to be the complete all, right? These are just actionable steps that we can take now," Wynn told 11Alive.
Millennial Civil Rights has a campaign, WeSaveUs.org, to help create change at the community level.
Wynn also said it's important to remember that change starts locally. He encourages everyone to learn more about their local elected officials and what they stand for.