Atlanta ‘Cop City’ protests turn violent: Police car set on fire after Tortuguita’s death

Protests turned violent following the death of an environmentalist in downtown Atlanta on Saturday night.

Masked activists dressed in all black threw rocks and set off fireworks in front of the skyscraper housing the Atlanta Police Foundation, shattering the large glass windows. They then set the police car on fire, smashing more windows, and vandalizing a wall with anti-police graffiti amidst a streak of stunned tourists.

Violent protesters gathered and marched down Atlanta’s famous Peachtree Street, going by the name Tortuguita, of hundreds of demonstrators mourning the death of the protester, a nonbinary person who used pronouns. It was a subsection.

Tortuguita was killed Wednesday as authorities cleared a small group of protesters from the grounds of a planned public security training center in the Atlanta area that activists have dubbed “Cop City.”

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Tortuguita was killed by officers after shooting and wounding a state trooper, but activists questioned the agency’s account, calling it a “murder” and calling for an independent investigation. bottom.

The incident was not recorded by body cameras, according to GBI. The agency said Friday it determined the trooper had been shot in the abdomen by a bullet from a pistol carried by Tortuguita.

Word of Saturday’s protest spread widely in advance on social media and among left-wing activists, saying, “Police killed protesters. Stand up. Fight back.”

Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference that authorities made six arrests Saturday and fired explosives after protesters damaged buildings along Peachtree Street, a corridor of hotels and restaurants. said to have recovered. He said authorities stopped the violence within two blocks, and civilians and law enforcement officers were injured.

“Earlier in this investigation, we learned that tonight’s purpose was not just to damage windows in three buildings and set police cars on fire,” Schierbaum said. “The intention was to continue to cause harm, but that didn’t happen.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp condemned the violence and thanked the officers who responded.

The Republican governor said, “Violence and unlawful destruction of property are not protests.” murmured“These are unacceptable and fully prosecutable crimes in Georgia.”

The first hour of the demonstration was calm, with several activists sharing their memories of Tortuguita, describing them as very loving and caring members of the “Stop Cop City” community. The speaker said Tortuguita underwent a 20-hour medic course to serve as a medic for a fellow “forest guardian” who found a home in the forest in DeKalb County, just outside Atlanta’s city limits. said.

Opponents of the training center have protested for over a year by building platforms in the surrounding trees and camping at the site.

They say the $90 million project to be built by the Atlanta Police Foundation will require cutting down enough trees to damage the environment. They also oppose spending large sums of money on facilities they say will be used to practice “urban warfare”.

About 25 campsites were found and removed during Wednesday’s search, and mortar-style fireworks, knives, pellet rifles, gas masks and blow torches were recovered, according to the GBI.

Seven people were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism and trespassing, with other charges pending, according to the GBI. Their ages range from He’s 20 to He’s 34, and there are no Georgia residents.

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