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Tipsheet

SPLC Breaks Silence After Staffer Charged With Domestic Terrorism at Riot

Atlanta Police Department

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released a statement Tuesday night after it was revealed one of their employees was arrested during a riot at the construction site for a police training facility outside of Atlanta.

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The riot resulted in construction equipment being damaged, fires being started, and police officers came under attack by the mob.

On Thomas Webb Jurgen's now-deleted LinkedIn profile, it stated he works at SPLC as a staff attorney. His LinkedIn profile also stated Jurgens was a legal intern in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida and an assistant public defender prior to joining SPLC. Jurgen is being charged with domestic terrorism by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. 

In a joint statement with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), SPLC said Jurgen was acting as a legal observer and his arrest proves police were wrong to crack down on the "protesters":

An employee at the SPLC was arrested while acting — and identifying — as a legal observer on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). The employee is an experienced legal observer, and their arrest is not evidence of any crime, but of heavy-handed law enforcement intervention against protesters.

This is part of a months-long escalation of policing tactics against protesters and observers who oppose the destruction of the Weelaunee Forest to build a police training facility. The SPLC has and will continue to urge de-escalation of violence and police use of force against Black, Brown and Indigenous communities — working in partnership with these communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements and advance the human rights of all people.

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"As trained witnesses of police conduct, NLG Legal Observers serve an important role in supporting movement organizers and activists. NLG is proud to contribute in whatever ways we can to advancing the critical work of our movement allies advocating for liberation and community care. NLG remains in solidarity with the movement to Stop Cop City," the NLG said in their statement.

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