Global Courant 2023-03-06 06:21:18
Smoke and flames billowed and billowed from equipment at the future public safety and training facility in Atlanta, Georgia dubbed “Cop City,” on Sunday night.
FOX 5 Atlanta posted a video on its website of a bulldozer and other equipment on fire, as well as a patch of grass.
A bulldozer caught fire at the future public safety training facility in Atlanta on Sunday. (Billy Heath / FOX 5 Atlanta)
The video also showed a large law enforcement presence, with Georgia State Troopers maneuvering their patrol cars to keep people away from the scene.
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The facility is located in the southeastern part of Atlanta on Key Road, where protesters clash with law enforcement, according to FOX 5.
The station also reported that a Georgia State Trooper said a Molotov cocktail was thrown.
City officials and the Atlanta Police Department did not immediately respond to questions about the incident.
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Protesters have objected to the construction of the new facility.
The City Council approved spending $90 million on the training center in 2021, hoping it would replace substandard offerings and bolster police morale plagued by hiring and retention battles in the wake of George Floyd protests.
Those opposed to the facility, who describe themselves as “forest defenders,” say “Cop City” will cause an environmentally damaging loss of trees. They also oppose spending so much money on a project they claim will be used to practice “urban warfare.”
Atlanta’s future public safety and training facility, dubbed “Cop City,” was the scene of a large police presence Sunday as equipment was on fire and protesters clashed with officers. (Billy Heath / FOX 5 Atlanta)
Protesters began camping in June 2021 in the forest section designated for the training facility, FOX 5 reported.
Since December, at least 19 people have been arrested and charged with domestic terrorism in connection with protests against the Atlanta Police and Fire Department training facility. The new facility will be built on 85 acres of southwestern DeKalb County forest on the site of a former prison farm.
Six of the 19 arrests stemmed from a violent riot in downtown Atlanta on Jan. 21 sparked by the fatal shooting of 26-year-old environmentalist Manuel Esteban Paez Teran by Georgia State Patrol responding to “Cop City” to remove protesters from the premises.
Authorities said Teran, who reportedly went by the name Tortuguita and was identified as non-binary, first shot a trooper in the abdomen, before law enforcement returned fire and killed Teran.
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Days later, protesters set fire to a police car, threw rocks and set off fireworks in front of a downtown Atlanta skyscraper that houses the Atlanta Police Foundation.
Danielle Wallace of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.
Greg Wehner is a breaking news reporter for Fox News Digital.