(ConcernedPatriot.com) – More than 20 individuals from around the nation were charged with domestic terrorism on Monday after dozens of attackers wearing black masks assaulted the site of a police training facility that was being built in a forested region outside of Atlanta, where one demonstrator was murdered in January.
The location has developed into a hotspot of constant tension between the government and left-leaning demonstrators who have banded together to voice their support for various issues.
These include those opposed to the militarization of law enforcement, those working to conserve the environment, and those opposed to businesses they believe are contributing to the project’s funding by donating to a police foundation.
In “Cop City,” where environmental activist Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, also known as “Tortuguita,” was shot and killed by police in January during a raid on a protest camp, protesters threw rocks and flaming bottles at police on Sunday.
Several activists have disputed the police’s claim that Tortuguita attacked them.
One is from Canada, and two are from France. Still, most of the 23 persons detained are Americans, according to police on Monday.
Friends and relatives stated Tortuguita was committed to protecting the environment, contrasting with Atlanta’s plans to construct a $90 million Atlanta Public Safety Training Center to increase readiness and morale following George Floyd’s passing in 2020.
Authorities and youth are now involved in a confrontation that doesn’t seem connected to previous well-publicized crises.
Young, self-described anarchists seeking confrontations with what they see as an unfair society are among the protesters who oppose what critics call “Police City,” as do more conventional environmentalists.
Members of the movement’s social media network, Defend the Atlanta Forest, stated on Twitter on Monday that those detained were “peaceful concert-goers who were nowhere near the rally,” not aggressive agitators.
A public relations company participating in the group’s activities responded through a spokesperson that it could only respond after some time.
Following the death of “Tortuguita” in January, protests expanded to Atlanta’s downtown. In a tower that houses the Atlanta Police Foundation, pyrotechnics, rocks, and a police vehicle were all fired – windows had been broken and astate of emergency was announced by the governor.
The Atlanta Public Safety Training Center site in DeKalb County was the target of what Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum described as “a concerted attack” on Sunday when pieces of construction equipment were set ablaze.
Police have released surveillance footage that shows a piece of large machinery on fire. Many other items of construction equipment were also damaged, according to authorities.
According to law enforcement, protesters also hurled pyrotechnics, Molotov cocktails, rocks, and stones at the police.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety reported Monday that protesters also tried to dazzle police by flashing green lasers into their eyes and blocking a road with tires and other objects.
According to Schierbaum, officers employed nonlethal tactics to break up the crowd and make arrests, inflicting “some mild pain.”
The training facility would have classrooms and office buildings, a shooting range, a driving course for chasing scenarios, and a “burn building” where firemen could practice putting out fires.
A “mock village” with a phony residence, convenience store, and nightclub would also be constructed for practicing raids.
The 85-acre (34-hectare) training complex would need to have a significant number of trees chopped down, according to opponents, who claim it would have a negative environmental impact.
In a city with one of the most significant levels of inequality in the country, many activists also reject spending millions on a police complex that would be bordered by impoverished communities.
The leaders of Color Of Change, a civil rights organization collaborating with Atlanta activists, claim that the facility will only adversely affect Black neighborhoods due to the rising militarization of local enforcement.
Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, told the AP over the phone on Monday that “this simply takes up a lot of space in a Black community” and gives an institution greater access, resources, and skills while requiring more accountability.
According to Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, the area was cleared for a former state prison farm decades ago. He claims that it is overrun with alien species instead of hardwood trees and covered in debris.
The complex will be erected on 85 acres. At the same time, the remaining 300 will be conserved as public green space, according to the mayor.
Several people who have previously been charged with violent crimes in connection with the protests at the training site are now facing domestic terrorism charges, a crime carrying a maximum sentence of 35 years in jail.
Several people have criticized the state for being overbearing in response to these accusations.
Domestic terrorism may be labeled as a significant violent offense by legislators. This implies that anyone found guilty must complete their sentence, cannot get probation as a first-time offender, and cannot be released from jail until they have served at least 30 years.
Police said Monday that further protests are scheduled over the upcoming days.
This is a developing story.
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