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Protesters continue to fight Atlanta-area police training facility

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 9:35 PM EDT
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SOUTH ATLANTA, Ga. (WGCL/CBS46) – Protesters against the planned construction of an Atlanta police training facility in DeKalb County are getting help from out of state.

Protesters gathered on Tuesday along Old Constitution Road near where the training facility is slated to be built. The protesters formed a caravan of cars and trucks, lining the road – as police watched on.

It’s the same location where about two weeks ago security cameras captured dramatic video of what police said are protestors throwing what appear to be Molotov cocktails and rocks at their officers.

“It’s a shame if and when there’s violence involved. And I think that those incidents are pretty minor,” said Joe Peery, local protester.

Joe Peery lives nearby the site. He doesn’t want the facility built. He worries about deforestation. He feels his local government isn’t listening to him and his neighbors, so he welcomes the outside help.

“People coming from other states and other countries and dealt with pipeline issues, Red Wood Forest, you know trying to save these natural spaces. And they’re coming and showing people how to do it and they’re being welcomed,” said Peery.

The training facility - which protestor call Cop City - will include classrooms, a shooting range, an emergency vehicle driving course, and more. Kwame Olufemi is about the organization Community Movement Builders. He see the planned center as an escalation into the militarization of police.

“It’s extremely important to us to organize against Cop City because for us it’s important recognize that the police are a militarized apparatus in our communities,” said Olufemi. “They’re not welcome into our communities and they often times bring more harm into our neighborhood, actually not often times, they always bring more harm into our neighborhood than any kind of safety for us.”

Atlanta police said they have no plans to halt construction.

The training facility is scheduled to open in late 2023.

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