Investigators said a protester is dead and a Georgia State Trooper was wounded in a Wednesday shootout near the site of a proposed police training center in DeKalb County, Georgia, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Dozens of arrests have occurred since left-wing activists started occupying the wooded location of the planned $90 million center, nicknamed “Cop City,” more than a year ago, the outlet reported.
The Wednesday shootout happened as State Troopers participated in a “clearing operation,” with the deceased protester allegedly firing first and the wounded trooper going into surgery the same day, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
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“Since the fatal shooting, this morning’s operation has continued with Brasfield and Gorrie’s heavy machinery entering the forest and cops shooting pepper balls at people who remain in the park–as if nothing has happened,” said an anonymous message submitted to the Atlanta Community Press Collective, demanding the training center’s cancellation. “Police killed a forest defender for loving this earth, for taking a stand against the ongoing destruction of the planet and its people. Indiscriminate police murder, and unfettered police violence is exactly why people have, for two years, called for the Cop City project to be canceled immediately.”
Authorities arrested and charged six “Defend The Atlanta Forest” movement participants with domestic terrorism in December after they allegedly threw rocks and glass bottles, resisted arrest, and possessed pipe bombs and trip wires, according to the AJC.