A press conference in Atlanta’s City Hall got heated following the announcement of plans to complete what is being called, “Cop City.” On Jan. 31, Mayor Andre Dickens announced that the controversial police training facility will be moving forward.
The deal had been marred by the killing of protester Manueal Teran and the ongoing protests that have led to some destruction in the city.
Dickens faced backlash from protesters during the press conference as some shouted, “Andre Dickens, blood on your hands” and “APD, shut it down!”
The mayor continued by outlining the plans for the land.
“Our development partner has committed to replace any hardwood tree that will be destroyed in construction with 100 hardwood trees for each one, as well as replacing invasive species with hardwoods,” Dickens said. “So the site will include double erosion control to ensure viability of Intrenchment Creek, the main waterway in the South River Forest Basin. The site itself will have greenspace open to the public, featuring trails, ball fields and picnic areas.“
Dickens believes the facility will help community policing, and issue that is at the forefront following the beating death of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police.
“The city of Atlanta has the most extensive training requirements in the Southeast,” Dickens said. “Our training includes vital areas like de-escalation training techniques, mental health, community oriented policing, crisis intervention training, as well as civil rights history, education. This training needs space, and that’s exactly what this training center is going to offer.”