Wild Scenes Erupt at Future ‘Cop City’ Site as Protesters Fight Construction

Spread the love

Protests descended into chaos Sunday at Atlanta’s future police training facility, dubbed “Cop City,” as protesters held a rally against the construction of the compound.

Social media images showed construction equipment from the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center site in flames—while authorities said protesters hurled rocks, sticks and even a molotov cocktail at police guarding the facility.

What appeared to be gunshots were also heard by local reporters on the scene, but the circumstances are currently unclear.

The City Council approved the training center in 2021 in response to morale and hiring problems after a year of racial justice protests spurred by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Protesters from the group, which calls itself Defend the Atlanta Forest, claim that if built, “Cop City would further militarize police in Georgia and across the country, and the destruction of the forest would lead to increased flooding and unmitigated heatwaves in a predominantly Black, working-class neighborhood in south Atlanta.”

However, a statement from the Atlanta Police Department described the group as “violent agitators” who “used the cover of a peaceful protest of the proposed Atlanta Public Safety Training Center to conduct a coordinated attack on construction equipment and police officers.”

Posting surveillance footage of the scene, police said the group “changed into black clothing, entered the construction area, and began throwing large rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks at police officers.”

Cops said the group destroyed multiple pieces of construction equipment after multiple law enforcement agencies were deployed to the area. Officers detained at least 35 people so far.

“The illegal actions of the agitators could have resulted in bodily harm,” police said, without going into specifics.

“Officers exercised restraint and used non-lethal enforcement to conduct arrests.”

The group says it plans to protest until March 11.

Source link