In Atlanta, activists seeking to halt the construction of a police and firefighter training facility usually referred to as "Cop City" were met with disappointment as city officials declined to verify the tens of thousands of signatures they had collected. The activists aimed to force a vote on the controversial project by gathering signatures from more than 116,000 Atlanta residents and far exceeding the required number of signatures.
Refusal by the city to verify the signatures has frustrated organizers and sparked accusations that officials are attempting to push the project forward without legitimate public input. Environmentalists and anti-police protesters have joined the campaign against the training center, further intensifying opposition. The attorney for the city defended the decision, stating that officials must await the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling on the deadline extension's legality.
The largest signature-gathering effort in Georgia's history involved hundreds of canvassers working tirelessly for three months to allow residents to decide the project's fate. Despite extensive public opposition and protests, the Atlanta City Council has consistently supported the $90 million, 85-acre training center.
The city plans to scrutinize each signature, potentially disqualifying those that do not meet specific criteria, such as matching the voter registration records. Organizers need 58,203 valid signatures to proceed, representing 15% of registered voters in the last city election.
Most recently, Attorney General Chris Carr made a sweeping indictment of 61 people accused of conspiring together to prevent the construction of "Cop City." The RICO charge alleges that the individuals organized acts of violence, intimidation and property destruction in Fulton County.