Opponents of #Atlanta's contentious $90 million public safety training center, dubbed "#CopCity," faced tear gas and flash-bang grenades during a march aimed at halting its construction. The 85-acre facility, defended by city officials as vital for improving de-escalation training and police recruitment, has become a focal point for environmentalists and anti-police protestors nationwide.
About 300 demonstrators, some donned in protective gear, marched two miles from Gresham Park to the construction site, chanting "Stop Cop City" and remembering activist Manuel Esteban Paez "Tortuguita" Terán, who was fatally shot at the location 10 months earlier. Despite DeKalb County #police officers in riot gear forming a barricade, clashes ensued, leading to tear gas deployment but no reported arrests.
Atlanta police later claimed protesters possessed bolt cutters, gas masks, and tools for breaching the construction site. The clash highlighted growing tensions amid recent indictments of 57 protestors and police raids targeting the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, a bail fund provider for protesters. The City of Atlanta rejected a 116,000-signature citizen petition for a project referendum, and Fulton County plans its $15 million training center.
Protesters, including out-of-state activists, pledged continued civil disobedience to "Block Cop City." Last week, Atlanta police arrested four elderly individuals for criminal trespassing at the site. The situation reflects a broader national concern over police militarization, environmental justice, and alleged police overreach, signaling ongoing resistance against the controversial training center.