OAN’s Taylor Tinsley
1:53 PM – Wednesday, July 5, 2023
City officials in Atlanta discussed public safety and targeted attacks after multiple acts of violence were committed against the police department over the Fourth of July weekend.
Despite insisting crime in the city is down, Mayor Andre Dickens (D-Ga.) said there were acts of extreme vandalism on public and private property over the holiday weekend. Authorities believe the incidents are related to the construction of the public training center that activists have dubbed “Cop City.”
On Wednesday, Mayor Dickens said the current Atlanta police and special ops training center was set ablaze on July first.
“The targeted attack utilized extremely dangerous, homemade incendiary devices to set on fire and completely destroy eight police motorcycles,” Dickens said.
Officials added that the group’s intent was to destroy all 40 motorcycles that were in the lot. No one was injured and the mayor added that authorities don’t believe the incident was isolated.
“They stated ‘We are vengeful wingnuts with nothing left to lose,’” Dickens said about the group that claimed responsibility for the attack. “I want to urge the people of Atlanta to be vigilant. If you see something, say something.”
The police and fire departments are working with ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) to investigate.
Atlanta police Chief Darin Schierbaum said about an hour before the motorcycle incident another precinct was targeted, this time where officers patrol the BeltLine.
“At that location we had multiple windows broken on police vehicles,” he said. “We believe the intent was to set those vehicles on fire as well.”
That attack was thwarted by an “observant citizen.” Chief Schierbaum said the attack was not only on the police department, but on every neighborhood the department protects.
Authorities also said in further effort to stop the training center the group is also targeting contractors by attempting to force them out. Activists have been protesting against the facility for over a year.
Three different contractors who are committed to building the training center were hit with vandalism over the weekend. One contractor’s tires were slashed at their residence, another’s home was significantly vandalized, and graffiti was used to intimidate at another location.
“Collectively, these have been some of the most significant attacks on public safety in our city, and in our nation over the past year,” Dickens said.
Mayor Dickens said the group orchestrating the attacks is on “borrowed time” and vowed to prosecute all those involved to the fullest extent of the law.
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