Atlanta PD arrests activists trying to block construction of 'cop city'

Police in Atlanta arrested seven “activists” after they threw rocks and a Molotov cocktail as part of an attempt to prevent the construction of a new police training center which opponents have dubbed “cop city.”

Atlanta Police said they made eight arrests when people began to throw rocks and what was believed to be a Molotov cocktail at officers on the site of a future public safety training facility on Tuesday afternoon.

Police said they were at the site accompanying contractors who were tasked with removing some temporary structures that were set up.

“The drastic response of police militarizing against people trying to protect our forest and our local community is very concerning,” a local activist said in a statement sent to 11Alive. “Militarized police is not how we keep community safe.”

There’s video of the Molotov being thrown. Police were just across the street but not close enough to be injured.

If you had any doubt that something was thrown, you can see it more clearly from this angle.

The land in question belongs to the city and last September the City Council voted to set it aside for a new police training center. But left-wing activists, who naturally hate police, have been campaigning to get the city to reconsider. They claim they’ve been living on the site since last December. Here’s a report from February about the activists who’ve been building structures in the woods.

So that’s why police were on hand earlier this week when the attacks began.

“The action today was to remove some illegal structures that had been built on the site and on the property. While individuals were there. They were approached by persons that started throwing rocks at the police officers, as well as the device that we believe to be a Molotov cocktail at the officers,” Atlanta Police Assistant Chief Darin Schierbaum said…

Protesters have also gathered outside of individuals’ homes associated with the project, including Shepherd Long, principal of Long Engineering, which has been subcontracted to do surveying and other pre-construction work.

Police say that most of the protesters are from out of state. Andy Ngo reports that a group has been using GoFundMe to raise travel expenses for people willing to go to the site. The whole situation has attracted the attention of the FBI.

Last week the the offices of the contractor who will build the new training center were vandalized. Several people were arrested in that incident which involved vandalism and setting fire to the grass around the building.

Several people arrested in the vandalism Thursday of the Cumberland offices of contractor Brasfield and Gorrie are now facing riot charges, according to their arrest warrants…

The contingent allegedly spray-painted “no forest no peace,” “trees not cops” and, “stop cop city” on the building’s walls…

Cobb police initially said at least two people were arrested during the vandalism, but arrest warrants for at least five individuals were located by the MDJ.

A warrant for Tyler John Norman, for example, accuses the group of shooting roman candles at the building’s lawn, causing grass to catch on fire. The protestors are also accused of breaking three windows on the building with “paint bombs.” The incident was said to have been captured on surveillance video.

Police have said the protesters are on the site illegally but if they leave they won’t be arrested. If they stay, they will be arrested and charged. We’ll have to wait and see if this situation dies down or escalates into more violence directed at police.