Agencies continue to crack down on anti-police activists trying to stop Georgia Public Safety Center, dubbed 'Cop City'

ATLANTA, GA- Georgia Police and the FBI continue to stand their ground against activists involved in a campaign against a developing police and fire department training center.

Backed by the Atlanta Police Foundation, The Atlanta Public Safety Center, dubbed by activists as “Cop City,” is scheduled to open its first phase in late 2024. According to the center’s website, the center will take up around 350 acres, with about 265 of those acres being greenspace, some of which is allocated as a future public park.

Additonally, the state of the art facility will include a training fire station as well as a lab for development and testing of technological innovations, among many other features. 

Since its inception, the Public Safety Center has drawn national attention as activists have gone all in to stop the development. According to ABC News, a group called “Stop Cop City” says that they are against the center because it is a threat to the lives of marginalized people by further militarizing the police.

Environmentalist groups have also joined in the protests, claiming that the center will impede upon forest space in Atlanta.

In January of 2023, Manuel Esteban Paez, a protester, was shot and killed by police during a raid in a campground occupied by protesters. According to officials, the shooting was in response to Paez firing at a state trooper.

In a statement to an ABC News affiliate following this incident, one group said, “The police have raided the forest for over 7 months, destroying material by trashing cams and water supplies, threatened the lives of forest defenders and now have murdered one. Protesters are only leveling the playing field & preventing future violence by disabling the economic machine of the Atlanta Police Foundation that seeks to sterilize all life within the Weelaunee Forest.”

Sabotage of equipment being used on the project, as well as arson, are other ways that the protesters are working on getting their point across. Police motorcycles were lit ablaze in July of 2023 at a southeast Atlanta police precinct.

In recent weeks, Atlanta officials have been busy campaigning to apprehend activists that are linked to the destruction. And activists have been continuing to advocate for their cause with more sabotage and civil disobedience.

Last Thursday, officials raided three houses in areas in unincorporated DeKalb County, and residential areas of Atlanta. The Guardian reported, “At least one of the search warrants for Thursday’s raid authorized the FBI to confinscate dozens of items from the raided homes- including laptops, cell phones, 'Defend the Atlanta Forest' stickers, and posters and personal journals.”

Among the Thursday arrests was activist John Mazurek, who was charged with first-degree arson in connection with the July incident where eight police motorcycles were burned. Atlanta police chief, Darin Schierbaum stated in a press conference, “More arrests will come soon.”

Agencies involved in Thursday’s raids include the ATF, Atlanta Police, Georgia State Patrol, and FBI.
 
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Comments

Richard

I would suggest that The Atlanta Public Safety Center, dubbed by activists as “Cop City,” should not answer a call for police protection from the activists who support "Cop City" and see how they fare. It's unfair to police that they should protect those who would destroy police efforts and be supported. These "activists" are probably being supported by America's enemies as well. It'd be typical of Russia and China!

Richard

I would suggest that The Atlanta Public Safety Center, dubbed by activists as “Cop City,” should not answer a call for police protection from the activists who support "Cop City" and see how they fare. It's unfair to police that they should protect those who would destroy police efforts and be supported. These "activists" are probably being supported by America's enemies as well. It'd be typical of Russia and China!

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