As expected, residents opposing the construction of a new Atlanta Police and Fire Department training facility, better known as Cop City are working vigorously to block funding for the project and kill the development altogether.
Opponents, are attempting to mount a petition campaign to get the project on the ballot and force a voter referendum on stopping the project. That effort would involve securing at least 70,000 petition signatures to get the issue on the ballot. Litigants in the case claim that Atlanta City Clerk Vanessa Waldron is thwarting their efforts to take the issue to the people by getting the petition going against the highly controversial project.
The proposed building site is also the site where a young protestor was shot and killed by a Georgia State Trooper. Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, also known as Tortuguita, was a Venezuelan environmental activist and eco-anarchist who was shot and killed by a Georgia State Patrol trooper after an officer was wounded in the leg during a raid of the Stop Cop City encampment on January 18, 2023. However on April 20, 2023 a Dekalb County medical examiner revealed that Teran was shot 57 times with wounds in his head, torso, hands and legs.
In early June, after a nearly 14½ hour long session against a backdrop of hundreds of protestors, Atlanta City Council members voted 11 to 4 to fund the highly controversial Cop City in Atlanta. Opponents of the training facility say they are concerned that the state of the art police training facility will militarize police and result in more police brutality and police slayings of Black and Brown residents.
Other detractors of the project say the true costs of the training facility will likely double, in terms of construction costs and human tragedy. Hundreds of Atlanta residents gathered at Atlanta City Hall to speak against legislation that would authorize an additional $33.5 million in public funding, bringing total funding to $90 million for the proposed Atlanta Police Department training compound which will be built in unincorporated Dekalb County. The project has reportedly exceeded its original budget due to loss of private funders and increased expenses related to the widespread public opposition to the project.
Cop City developers expect to break ground possibly as early as August of this year.