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Tipsheet

Atlanta’s Controversial Anti-Law Enforcement Center of 'Cop City' Ignites a Battle

AP Photo/Mike Stewart

Construction of Atlanta's "cop city" police training center that began in 2021 has become a nationwide anti-law enforcement movement, with residents pleading to stop.

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The "Stop Cop City" has turned into a violent movement, resulting in many people being arrested and one protester being shot and killed by police officers, escalating the clash between radical environmentalists and law enforcement.  

Last year, Atlanta began preliminary construction of the city's Public Safety Training Center, AKA Cop City, on 85 acres of the South River Forest intended to educate firefighters, 911 operators, and police officers on how to "properly" serve the Atlanta communities. 

Residents are increasingly concerned that "cop city" will only aggravate violent encounters between police and community members. 

The creators of the anti-police movement center claim that law enforcement is out to get community members, mainly black and low-income residents. 

Since the 2020 death of George Floyd and the recent death of Tyre Nichols in January 2023, progressive activists believe police officers should undergo more efficient training, claiming that law enforcement has used an "authoritarian" crackdown on protests. 

And then there are the climate change radicalists who argue that tearing down almost 100 acres of trees for the anti-cop center will ignite global warming. 

The appeal, provided to the Washington Examiner, said that the proposed project is an "awful, environmentally degrading project" that will "destroy the largest piece of green space inside of I-285 in the city of Atlanta. The impacts on the community, the impacts related to climate change, are just tremendous."

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Over the past year, Left-wing activists protested against cops, throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails, bricks, and other objects at them. Activists also vandalized a truck, writing "stop cop city" on it, which was later burned. 

In March, over 20 people were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism following a violent protest. Atlanta Police Department officials said this "was not a protest," nor was it "about a public training center." Instead, they called it "anarchy."

Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) weighed in on the issue, saying prosecutors must go after the violent activists hard. 

"It's my hope that the prosecutors, and us, go after them very hard," Kemp said. "I believe that we will, but it's time for the judicial system also to go after these individuals very hard, and that's what I think we need to see happen in this case."

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