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Dozens arrested after violent protests at Atlanta police training site

The facility — which opponents have dubbed "Cop City" — has been the site of prior violent demonstrations, including the death of one protester.
Posted at 11:47 AM, Mar 06, 2023

Nearly three dozen people have been arrested after a violent protest erupted at the site of a future police training facility in Atlanta.

Authorities said 35 people dressed in black clothing were detained after throwing "large rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails and fireworks at police officers" working at the site. 

Surveillance footage released by police showed several pieces of heavy machinery engulfed in flames. No officers were reportedly injured.

The Atlanta Public Safety Training Center — which has been dubbed "Cop City" by opponents — has been the site of prior violent demonstrations, including the death of one protester earlier this year.

A burned police car sits on the street following a violent protest.
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“This was a very violent attack, very violent attack,” Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a midnight press conference. "This wasn't about a public safety training center. This was about anarchy."

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement posted on Twitter that domestic terrorism won't be tolerated.

"They chose destruction and vandalism over legitimate protest, yet again demonstrating the radical intent behind their actions," he said.

In January, a 26-year-old environmentalist was shot and killed by a state trooper while protesting construction of the training facility.

Investigators said the activist — a nonbinary person who went by the name Tortuguita — was killed by officers after shooting and wounding a state trooper. Other activists have questioned officials' storyline, with some calling it murder.

Atlanta police expect more demonstrations in the coming days and have called for protesters to remain peaceful.