DeKalb County in Atlanta has approved the stalled land development permit for the controversial public safety training complex for police, the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, which has been dubbed “Cop City.”
On Jan. 31, an agreement between Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond was announced about the project’s parameters and details.
The agreement sparked a new round of protests about the project. Some are protesting the environmental effects on the forested south DeKalb County land, while others are concerned about the militarization of police and police brutality, Axios reported.
Add to the protesters AUC students. AUC stands for the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUC Consortium). It is the oldest and largest contiguous consortium of African-American higher education institutions in the U.S.. The center consists of four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in southwest Atlanta: Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and the Morehouse School of Medicine.
The Twitter account The Maroon Tiger posted video footage of AUC students protesting Cop City. Among the AUC protesters were Morehouse College students.
Cop City will span 85 acres and cost $90 million for the complex to be located on city-owned forest land that sits near a predominantly Black community. This complex will reportedly contain training facilities for urban warfare tactics, explosive testing sites, firing range, a Black Hawk helicopter landing pad and more, TheGrio reported.
The protests have been going on since the Atlanta City Council approved a plan to build the facility in a 10-4 vote in September 2021. Then-Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms supported the plan.
“To be clear — Cop City is not just a controversial training center. It is a war base where police will learn military-like maneuvers to kill Black people and control our bodies and movements,” Kwame Olufemi of Community Movement Builders told TheGrio. “The facility includes shooting ranges, plans for bomb testing, and will practice tear gas deployment. They are practicing how to make sure poor and working-class people stay in line.”
Photo: Screenshot, Twitter @themaroontiger, https://twitter.com/themaroontiger/status/1621205073077444608