OAN Shannon Kelland
11:17 AM PT – Monday, March 6, 2023
Approximately 35 people have been detained after “Stop Cop City” protestors allegedly set fire to a construction site of Atlanta Public Safety Training Facility, nicknamed “Cop City” by anti-police and environmental activists.
The Atlanta Public Safety Training Facility is located in South River and neighbors a Black neighborhood, a site which activists believe will further escalate police militarization.
According to the Atlanta Police Department, a group of “agitators” left South River Music Festival around 5:30 p.m. and went to the construction site “to conduct a coordinated attack on construction equipment and police officers.”
Authorities stated that the group changed into black clothing and began to throw commercial-grade fireworks, Molotov cocktails, large rocks and bricks at police officers.
Darin Schierbaum, the Atlanta Chief of Police stated that Sunday’s incident marked a “significant escalation” in violence with the number of individuals involved in the attack.
“This is not a protest, I made a clear distinction of what a protest looks like. When it is a legitimate protest, you have the full protection of the Atlanta Police Department. This is not a protest. This is criminal activity. And the charges that will be brought forth will show that,” said Schierbaum.
Chief Schierbaum has also noted that the FBI and Georgia Bureau of Investigation have joined in on the the investigation.
“This wasn’t about a public safety training center. This was about anarchy, and this was about an attempt to destabilize. And we are addressing that quickly,” Schierbaum told reporters. “Actions such as this will not be tolerated. You attack law enforcement officers, you damage equipment, you are breaking the law. This was a very violent attack that occurred this evening.”
A majority of the people who were arrested were locals. However, according to the Attorney General of Georgia Chris Carr, the group protesting this facility has grown on a national and even international basis.
“Some of those arrested yesterday were from Massachusetts and New York and France and Canada. So, this is a national network, an international group of people that are organized to come to our state to undermine a public safety training center,” said Carr.
The activist group against the site “Stop Cop City” had started in September 2022. Another riot occurred in downtown Atlanta on January 21st, in which six people were arrested and 26-year-old activist Manuel Esteban Paez Teran was shot and killed.
Before this incident on Sunday, at least 19 people have been arrested and charged with Domestic terrorism in connection with “Cop City” since December.