News Brief: Cop City

Atlanta’s “Cop City,” a proposed police training facility, has caused controversy since 2021. Activists, ranging from criminal justice reformists to anarchists, argue the 85-acre facility’s mock village and loud shooting ranges will cause over-policing and environmental degradation in surrounding neighborhoods. 

Recent clashes between protestors and police have escalated. In January 2023, six protestors were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism, while another protestor, Tortuguita, was killed by police. Atlanta police assert Tortuguita had fired on officers, however, autopsies revealed Tortuguita died in a peaceful position, cross-legged with his hands in the air. Police body-cam footage has not been released, and arguments have arisen over whether charging non-violent protesters with domestic terrorism limits civil liberties.

Then, on March 5, 2023, several protesters destroyed construction equipment with rocks and molotov cocktails. Twenty-three demonstrators were subsequently jailed and charged with domestic terrorism. These recent arrests have intensified the protests surrounding the facility.