A brand new training facility proposal for the Atlanta Police Department has ignited controversy within the city, pitting environmental activists and defund the police protesters in opposition to regulation enforcement and their supporters.
Atlanta city council member Joyce M. Sheperd launched an ordinance earlier in June to lease land to the Atlanta Police Foundation, a nonprofit that plans to construct “a state-of-the-art Public Safety Training Campus for all public safety agencies.”
The training facility could be constructed on 150 acres of forested land in DeKalb County, which is the location of the outdated Atlanta jail farm, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reviews.
It would come with 90 acres of inexperienced area, a navy veteran training heart, a 12-acre emergency car course, a bodily training area with a observe, a mock city for real-world training, burn towers, a taking pictures vary, 40 horse stalls, a 40-acre horse pasture, k9 kennels, and extra, in accordance to mockups by the Atlanta Police Foundation.
Environmental activists and supporters of the defund the police motion have been protesting the brand new facility for weeks, however Sheperd stated they took issues too far once they got here on her property Wednesday.
“People have a right to come out and say whether they are for or against it. I have no problem with that. I’ve been doing this for years and I know people have that right,” Shepherd stated Wednesday, in accordance to FOX 5 Atlanta.
“But what they don’t have a right to do is come up on my private property, knock on my door, protest on my lawn and on my porch. They don’t have that right. So I’m saying tonight that I’m still supporting the academy and I’m not scared.”
Dozens of Atlanta residents additionally referred to as right into a City Council finance assembly on Wednesday and made hours of public feedback that have been principally in opposition to the brand new training facility.
“We don’t need more policing in our community. We need more resources, we need more mental health services, not more cops,” one such caller stated on Wednesday. “We need to not only protect our people, we need to protect the forest and the environment.”
Activists teams reminiscent of Defend the Atlanta Forest and Defund APD, Refund Communities have been organizing marches in protest of the proposed facility.
“The City of Atlanta must demilitarize, disarm and abolish the Atlanta Police Department (APD), not provide it with additional opportunities to practice targeting, assaulting and killing city residents,” Defund APD, Refund Communities circulated in a name sheet on the ordinance.
“After a year of uprisings in response to police violence in which activists, organizers, and everyday residents were brutally teargassed, tased, and shot with rubber bullets by APD officers, it is disgraceful that City Council intends to offer more physical space and resources with which APD can practice brutalizing residents.”
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr stated Thursday that protesters are “trying to strong arm Atlanta officials into rejecting a training facility for [Atlanta police].”
“Georgians deserve freedom from fear,” Carr tweeted. “That’s why I will continue to support additional training/resources for law enforcement.”
The Atlanta City Council will now maintain public hearings on the ordinance for the following two months earlier than a vote takes place, in accordance to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.