The streets of Atlanta have erupted in protest once again. But this time around, the situation took a violent turn. Reports have come out that protesters launched Molotov cocktails at police officers as part of their deadly demonstration against the construction of a new police training facility.
Sunday evening, smoke and flames erupted at the future “Cop City” Atlanta Public Safety Training Center.
On its website, Fox 5 Atlanta posted a video of a bulldozer and other pieces of equipment on fire. Georgia State Troopers maneuvered their squad cars to keep people away from the scene in the video as well.
Late Sunday evening, Atlanta Police released a statement that read: “On March 5, 2023, a group of violent agitators used the cover of a peaceful protest of the proposed Atlanta Public Safety Training Center to conduct a coordinated attack on construction equipment and police officers. They changed into black clothing and entered the construction area and began to throw large rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks at police officers.”
The statement continued, “35 agitators have been detained so far… With protests planned for the coming days, the Atlanta Police Department, in collaboration with law enforcement partners, have a multi-layered strategy that includes reaction and arrest. The Atlanta Police Department asks for this week’s protests to remain peaceful.”
The Atlanta PD also posted this short video of the protesters in dark clothing entering the construction area.
The new facility has long been opposed by protesters.
It was hoped that the training center would improve police morale after the George Floyd protests of 2020, which met with difficulties in hiring and retention. In 2021, the City Council approved spending $90 million on the facility.
Self-described “forest defenders” opposing “Cop City” claim it will damage the environment by destroying trees. In addition, they oppose spending so much money on a project that they claim will be used for urban warfare.
The protesters started camping out in the training facility area in June 2021.
It is completely unacceptable that these protesters have resorted to violent tactics, such as hurling Molotov cocktails and bricks at police officers. We must take a stand against all forms of violence and prosecute those responsible to the full extent of the law. Those involved in this unacceptable attack must be held accountable for their actions.
Let’s continue this conversation, in the comments below.