The Washington Post

23 people charged in ‘Cop City’ protest


More than 20 people from around the country faced domestic terrorism charges Monday after dozens in black masks attacked the site of a police training center under constructi­on in a wooded area outside Atlanta where one protester was killed in January.

The area has become the flash point of ongoing conflict between authoritie­s and leftleanin­g protesters.

Flaming bottles and rocks were thrown at officers during a protest Sunday at “Cop City,” where 26-year-old environmen­tal activist Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, or “Tortuguita,” was shot to death by officers during a raid at a protest camp in January. Police have said that Tortuguita attacked them, a version that other activists have questioned.

Almost all of the 23 people arrested are from states across the United States, while one is from Canada and another from France, police said Monday.

Like many protesters, Tortuguita was dedicated to preserving the environmen­t, friends and family said, ideals that clashed with Atlanta’s hopes of building a $ 90 million Atlanta Public Safety Training Center meant to boost preparedne­ss and morale after George Floyd’s death in 2020.

On Sunday, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a midnight news conference, pieces of constructi­on equipment were set on fire in what he called “a coordinate­d attack” at the site for the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center in Dekalb County.

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