As the controversy surrounding the proposed police and fire training facility dubbed “Cop City” continues to grow, the situation at the public park near Atlanta has taken a dangerous turn. A large portion of the park has been temporarily closed by an executive order after county officials discovered “life-threatening” hidden traps scattered throughout the area. DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond described the confiscated booby traps as “boards with nails that were hidden by leaves and underbrush. You could kill a small child or a pet with those.” The park is a popular area where people walk and enjoy nature, but now it is just not safe for anyone to enter.
The planned facility has faced fierce pushback from various groups since its conception. Residents feel that there was little public input in the decision to build the facility. Conservationists worry that it will carve out a chunk of much-needed forest land, while activists claim it will militarize police forces and contribute to further instances of police brutality.
Thurmond has acknowledged the pushback against Cop City but insists that the booby traps scattered throughout the park are too far. Under the executive order, unauthorized persons entering the properties will be subject to prosecution for criminal trespass, and unauthorized parked vehicles will be towed and impounded, according to a news release about the executive order.
DeKalb County has been unable to send its parks employees into the site of the proposed $90 million, 85-acre training facility because “they have been attacked with rocks” and other objects, Thurmond said. The tensions between law enforcement and protesters have continued to rise since the January shooting death of a protester, who law enforcement says fired on officers first and seriously wounded a state trooper.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Friday released an incident report in which a trooper with the state’s Department of Public Safety SWAT team described law enforcement officers calling for the protester, Manuel Paez Terán, to come out of his tent during a clearing operation. Paez Terán refused to leave, the report says, and as the protester was zipping up the front door of the tent, the trooper fired pepper bails into the opening. Paez Terán then started shooting “steadily,” the report says. The trooper says he ditched the pepper ball launcher and fired his pistol at the shooter.
“While shooting I observed a small explosion at the front of the tent and a large plume of white powder going into the air,” the officer writes in the report.
The officer says he fired until it became clear Paez Terán was no longer shooting or had set off additional explosive devices. A use of force report indicates in addition to the trooper firing at the protester, five other troopers shot their weapons.
A spokesperson for Paez Terán’s family sent CNN a statement calling on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to release witness statements and evidence. It also criticized the bureau for investigating the shooting, which came during an operation the bureau planned. “The GBI is investigating its own tragic operation. The family calls upon the GBI to explain what steps it has taken to preserve the integrity of its investigation of its own operation,” said Enchanta Jackson.
Jackson noted the incident report was filed February 13. “The officer narratives released today by the Department of Public Safety were drafted weeks or, in some cases, months after the incident,” Jackson said. “When officers drafted these statements, each had the opportunity to review the publicly available video and the press releases issued by the GBI.”
Kamau Franklin, the leader of the Community Movement Builders organization which opposes the facility, calls the latest move by DeKalb County an excuse to close the park and criminalize the climate activists working to preserve the green space. He believes that the claim that organizers sought to hurt
I believe this is all caused by the support and funding of George Soros and his free society. If Republicans take the next election they must cut the head of the snake off and the rest will wither and die. Both his and his sons citizenship should be stripped for supporting and funding insurrection and they should be deported back to where they are from.
AGREE, He is a Snake. Hunt Him and Family down and kill them on the spot.