Police, Protesters Clash During March Intended To Stop Construction Of ‘Cop City’ Training Center

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Lillian Tweten Contributor
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Protesters attempting to halt the construction of a planned safety training center for police and firefighters clashed with officers just outside the Atlanta city limits on Monday morning.

Roughly 500 protesters gathered to march on the construction site of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center — a planned police and firefighter training center called “Cop City” by opponents — in an attempt to temporarily stop crews from building, according to The Associated Press. The crowd took over a road, blocked the flow of traffic and ignored officers who ordered them to get off of the street, prompting police to deploy tear gas to “disperse the crowd,” the DeKalb County Police Department (DCPD) told the Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: Anti-‘Cop City’ Activist Arrested After Allegedly Stealing Car, Plowing It Into Two Other Vehicles)

“At 10:30 a.m., protestors began an unpermitted march on Constitution Road toward the site of the future Atlanta Public Safety Training facility, blocking two of four lanes of traffic,” DCPD told the DCNF in a statement. “At 10:50 a.m., protestors were informed via loudspeaker that they were obstructing the roadway and that they would not be permitted to proceed. The protestors ignored the commands by DeKalb County Police and began to force their way through a line of 30 DeKalb County Police officers. DeKalb County Police officers deployed tear gas canisters to disperse the protestors. At approximately 11:45 a.m., protestors began walking back toward Gresham Park. No injuries have been reported and no arrests have been made as of noon.”


One protester threw a tear gas canister back at officers, and others pushed into a line of officers who had attempted to stop the march, the AP reported. Protesters eventually dispersed because of the tear gas, with some running into the woods lining the construction site before leaving the property.

The march was part of a four-day protest event that began on Friday afternoon with a “Welcome and Healing Festival” to “connect” protesters with the “space and land” through “healing spaces” and puppet making, according to a flier posted on the “Block Cop City” organization’s website. Protesters attended a series of training seminars on Saturday and Sunday before the event culminated in a “day of action” on Monday.

“Block Cop City” is an organization that stems from Stop Cop City, a movement that began in Georgia in 2020 following the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests that consumed the nation. Fulton County indicted 61 individuals in September who had participated in the movement on racketeering and domestic terrorism charges.

Officials announced plans for the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center after the city condemned and shut down the original police and firefighter training center in 2021, according to the Training Center’s website. Officers have operated without a training facility since that point, and has used grounds at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport while waiting for the new center to be built.

The facility will cost $90 million to build, and will be opened for training in the fall of 2024 at the earliest, according to the Training Center’s website.

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