March 28, 2023

Six people arrested after Atlanta protest

Six people arrested after protest turns violent in Atlanta


Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday and activated 1,000 National Guard troops in response to ongoing violent protests in downtown Atlanta following a shooting last week near a controversial future law enforcement training site in which a Georgia state trooper was wounded and a man was killed.  

The state of emergency is in effect until Feb. 9, according to the document, unless renewed by the governor. 

The Atlanta protests center around the building of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, nicknamed “Cop City.” Protestors have been at the site for months, but on Jan. 18, a protestor identified as Manuel Esteban Paez Teran was shot and killed by law enforcement after authorities said he shot and wounded a Georgia state trooper during a planned multi-agency operation to remove protestors from the area. The trooper was hospitalized and survived. 

On Jan. 21, six people were arrested after protests at “Cop City” led to property damage and a police vehicle being set ablaze. Some of the arrested protestors were found with explosives, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said. No one was injured. 

Trooper Shot Atlanta
Police block downtown streets following a protest, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Atlanta, in the wake of the death of an environmental activist killed after authorities said the 26-year-old shot a state trooper.

Alex Slitz / AP

Kemp specifically referenced the burnt car in his declaration of the state of emergency. 

“Masked activists threw rocks, launched fireworks and burned a police vehicle in front of the Atlanta Police Foundation office building,” the declaration read, in part. “Georgians respect peaceful protests, but do not tolerate acts of violence against persons or property.” 

The state of emergency declaration authorizes the Georgia National Guard to be used in response to continued protests. Activated troops will have “the same powers of arrest and apprehension as do law enforcement officers.”

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