Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced Tuesday that a proposed $90 million police training facility known as “Cop City” is moving forward, despite growing opposition and the police killing of a forest defender. Just weeks ago, law enforcement officers — including a SWAT team — were violently evicting protesters who had occupied a wooded area outside the center, when they shot and killed a longtime activist and charged 19 with domestic terrorism. The activists have been camping out in Weelaunee Forest for months to prevent its destruction. Mayor Dickens vowed to address their concerns, but protesters have vowed that Cop City will not be built. We speak with investigative reporter Alleen Brown, who says the “flimsy” domestic terrorism charges appear to be part of a strategy to undermine the protest movement rather than respond to an actual threat to public safety. “These charges may not be meant to stick. Perhaps instead it’s meant to send a message,” she says.
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