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A guest on CNN argued that it wouldn’t be fair to call protesters in Atlanta “violent” despite the chaos that erupted in the city over the weekend.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and Police Chief Darin Schierbaum held a press conference on Saturday night to speak about the arrest of multiple protesters after demonstrations turned ugly earlier.

The demonstrators were protesting the death of Manuel “Tortuguita” Esteban Paez Teran, a 26-year-old activist who shot a state trooper this week and was then killed when authorities returned fire.

As protests over Teran’s death played out on Saturday, the Associated Press reported that the demonstrations eventually took a turn:

“Masked activists dressed in all black threw rocks and lit fireworks in front of a skyscraper that houses the Atlanta Police Foundation, shattering large glass windows,” the outlet reported. “They then lit a police cruiser on fire, smashed more windows and vandalized walls with anti-police graffiti as stunned tourists scattered.”

CNN aired the Dickens and Schierbaum press conference — during which the mayor announced the city would not tolerate violence or property damage. On the protesters who were arrested, Schierbaum said there “not a single Georgia resident in there” among the six.

When the presser wrapped, Pamela Brown spoke to freelance writer David Peisner for his reaction. Peisner took issue with what he called “a real blurring of the lines in the use of the word ‘violence.'”

“Is property destruction violence?” He asked. “To some people, it certainly is. But, you know, this idea that breaking windows or other acts of property destruction are the same as actual violence against humans, it’s kind of a dangerous and slippery concept.”

While Peisner described the destructive protests as counterproductive, he referred to what Schierbaum had said about the arrested protestors being in an isolated group from out-of-state.

This is also within this ‘Defend the Forest’ movement. There are no leaders, so people go off and do their own thing. That doesn’t make them justifiable, but I do think that — you keep using these words ‘violent, violent, violent.’ And it gives the impression — I mean, the only violence, or the only acts of violence against people, that I saw were police tackling protestors.

CNN’s Juliette Kayyem followed up by acknowledging Peisner’s point, but counter-arguing that there was “clearly violence” amid the protest.

“The distinction between going after cop cars or buildings really is not a distinction that is knowable in real time,” She said. “You simply don’t know how this will escalate, and that is why the police have to deal with it as if it were violence if that’s what it is.”

Watch above via CNN.

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