Atlanta, GA – Atlanta police were doused with water and pelted with coolers and rocks as they tried to conduct traffic and crowd control at a massive community water fight last Saturday (video below).
The event was originally intended as a part of the #GunsDownWaterGunsUp movement, which uses water gun battles in an attempt to unite community members in a stand against gun violence, WXIA reported.
Approximately 500 people converged in the area of Perkerson Park for the event, blocking roadways in the process.
Atlanta police responded to the scene to conduct crowd and traffic control at approximately 4:25 p.m.
Cell phone footage showed mobs of people chasing after police and drenching them with water. Other videos showed the rowdy crowd climbing over a patrol vehicle.
Some of the attendees hurled objects at the officers, including coolers and rocks, the Atlanta Police Department (APD) said.
At one point during the melee, first responders were pelted with items as they tried to help a woman suffering a medical emergency.
People in the crowd climbed onto the fire truck, further complicating the situation.
"When you're jumping on top of fire trucks, then I think you can call that reckless," APD Deputy Police Chief Jeff Glazier told WSB.
Chief Glazier said the officers displayed a tremendous amount of restraint during the mayhem.
The unruly mob finally began to disperse when police began impounding vehicles to clear the roadway, WXIA reported.
In a statement, the APD said it appreciated the intention behind the event, but that “acts such as tying up traffic, damaging property and assaulting police officers and first responders are not acceptable.”
“Saturday’s event quickly grew beyond entertainment and became a safety hazard,” the department said. “We must ensure we take steps to ensure the safety of both our residents and our officers. We cannot allow unwilling participants to be assaulted, no matter how harmless it may appear to those engaged in the game."
APD Public Affairs Officer Jarius Daugherty praised the officers for how they handled the chaotic situation.
"Our officers are to be commended for the professional manner in which they conducted themselves and gained control of the situation,” Officer Daugherty noted.
Similar events are expected to be held in the Atlanta area throughout the summer.
You can watch cell phone footage of the incident in the multiple videos below: