BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — City leaders are calling for peace following a night of violent protests in downtown Birmingham Sunday.

“We support peaceful protesting. We do not support what has happened here,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said in a video message Sunday night. “It’s unacceptable. Stop destroying your own community. Stop destroying our community. We deserve better.”

City Councilman Hunter Johnson took to Facebook Sunday night to condemn the violence and destruction caused to Linn Park and different buildings and businesses in the area.

“We are the civil rights city, where we have brought changes to the world through peaceful protests,” Johnson wrote. “While we grieve and demand equality for all people at the heels of George Floyd’s horrific death, we must do so peacefully. Rioting and looting our city will not bring change, but further set us back. Let’s support George Floyd’s legacy, and the legacy of the generations that marched in this city before us, by doing so peacefully.”

On Monday, Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement condemning the violence in Birmingham.

“I will always support the right of the people of Alabama to peacefully lift your voices in anger and frustration,” Ivey said in a written statement. “After all, our great country was born out of the desire to be free and the desire for freedom has repeatedly led to making positive change for the betterment of society.  

“However, we will not allow our cities to become a target for those, especially from other states, who choose to use violence and destruction to make their point. What I saw happen last night in Birmingham was unbecoming of all those who have worked to make Birmingham the great city it is.  Going forward, this cannot be tolerated. State assets are available to any local government that makes the request. We will show respect to ourselves and to each other through this process.”