The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) defended one of their attorneys after he was charged with domestic terrorism in Atlanta for violently protesting a new police facility.
SPLC Attorney Thomas Webb Jurgens was one of 23 people charged with domestic terrorism on Monday for allegedly rioting against the construction of a $90 million police training facility. (RELATED: Southern Poverty Law Center Attorney Charged With Domestic Terrorism For Rioting Against Atlanta Police Facility)
Southern Poverty Law Center Attorney Charged With Domestic Terrorism For Rioting Against Atlanta Police Facility @DailyCaller https://t.co/XLQ6KvUdDd
— James Lynch (@jameslynch32) March 6, 2023
“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,” SPLC said in a statement released Monday night.
“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.”
Jurgens’ full name and mug shot were publicized by the Atlanta Police Department shortly after the charges were announced. He is a licensed attorney in Georgia and Florida, and graduated from University of Georgia law school in 2019.
Multiple people were charged with domestic terrorism in December for violently protesting the police training facility, known as “Cop City” by its detractors, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). Activists have been protesting the site since 2020, and some allegedly occupied publicly-owned forest land for over a year to prevent construction of the complex.
SPLC is a left-wing civil rights legal organization and watchdog that monitors alleged hate groups and extremism. The organization says its endowment is $731.9 million, funded primarily from donor contributions.