Cop City is the name community groups give to the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center. With a cost of $90 million, the facility will occupy 85 acres of a 265-acre property.
“The center will include an “auditorium for police/fire and public use,” a “mock city for burn building training and urban police training,” an “Emergency Vehicle Operator Course for emergency vehicle driver training,” a K-9 unit kennel and training, according to the center’s website. The first phase of the training center is scheduled to open in late 2023.”
During a protest against Cop City on Wednesday, January 8, 2023, Atlanta area police shot Manuel Esteban Paez Terán 57 times. Police claim Terán fired first and injured a police agent. There is no body camera footage. Known in the community at Tortuguita and identified as nonbinary. That the past tense has to be used in the sentence is angering but also not surprising given the culture in the United States that valorizes violence and gives cops the uncritical benefit of the doubt. That police are above the law is enshrined in the Constitutionally protected policy of qualified immunity, “a nearly failsafe tool to let police brutality go unpunished and deny victims their constitutional rights.” Could it be that one of the 57 bullets fired by the militarized police in Atlanta struck a fellow police officer, you know, “friendly fire?”
Remember when law enforcement officials – state and local police, FBI, and the US Marshall Service in unmarked cars, pulled up, announced and fired 30 rounds into the body of anti-fascist activist Michael Reinoehl as he sat in his car on September 3, 2020? These agents of state violence claimed Reineohl “initiated an exchange of gunfire with officers before he was killed [correction: agents of the state killed Reinoehl]. Reinoehl did have a loaded .380 pistol on him when he was killed [correction: agents of the state killed Reinoehl], but it was found inside his right front pants pocket. Despite that, investigators insist that, based on law enforcement and witness statements, they believe Reinoehl fired the round, was shot by police, and put his gun inside his pants pocket. Those investigators could not find the bullet Reinoehl allegedly shot at police.”
Just wow. No trained agent from the state and local police, FBI, or the US Marshall Service found the round. After being shot by the police thirty times, Reinoehl was so devious and superhuman to try to “set the cops up” by planting the pistol in his pants.
Steven Dozinger, a lawyer targeted by Chevron and the judicial branch of the political parties, and an “advocate, writer & public speaker on human rights and corporate accountability, posted the image above. Dozinger proposes that eco-activism should not be criminalized. Instead, ecocide should be designated a crime against humanity, like genocide. Check out the Red Deal for a deeply theorized example of this argument.
“Stop Cop City (SCC) or Defend Atlanta Forest (DTF) is a decentralized movement in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, whose goal is to stop the construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center by the Atlanta Police Foundation and the City of Atlanta.” Defend Atlanta Forest is “an autonomous movement for the future of South Atlanta.”
As Kwame Olufemi from Community Movement Builders clarifies the position on Stop Cop City, “To be clear — cop city is not just a controversial training center. It is a war base where police will learn military-like maneuvers to kill black people and control our bodies and movements. The facility includes shooting ranges, plans for bomb testing, and will practice tear gas deployment. They are practicing how to make sure poor and working-class people stay in line. So when the police kill us in the streets again, as they did to Rayshard Brooks in 2020, they can control our protests and community response to how they continually murder our people.”
Click here for the Dekalb County medical examiner’s report.
For moving and agonizing memories of “Tort,” click here.
Supporters of Tort were recently arrested for posting these flyers. As reported by The Intercept, “Three activists involved in the Defend Atlanta Forest movement are facing charges of felony intimidation of an officer of the state and misdemeanor stalking for placing flyers on mailboxes in a neighborhood in Bartow County, Georgia, about 40 miles from Atlanta. The detainees were held for days in solitary confinement, a lawyer working on the case and a relative of one of the activists told The Intercept.”