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Atlanta City Council Approves Funding for “Cop City”

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The city will pour over $30 million into the controversial project, which activists warn will further militarize the police and harm surrounding Black neighborhoods.

“I’m begging and pleading that you stand with the people of Atlanta.” 

“The wrong direction is Cop City and you can’t whitewash it away.”

“We need to spend our money on public funds and not our destruction. Stop Cop City.”

After more than thirteen hours of testimony from hundreds of protesters, Atlanta’s City Council on Tuesday approved public funding to build the controversial Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, or as its opponents have dubbed it, Cop City. The 11-4 vote greenlights at least $31 million of taxpayer money into the construction of what is expected to be one of the largest law enforcement training facilities in the country, carving out a significant portion of a forest that once belonged to a local indigenous tribe in the process. 

The highly anticipated vote followed years of fierce opposition to the $90 million police training complex that will be built on nearly 100 acres of land. The project united activists of all stripes, including environmentalists, proponents of police reform, and indigenous leaders, many of whom warned that the facility would further militarize the police and destroy the city’s unique tree canopy, with predominantly Black neighborhoods bearing the brunt of the environmental damage.

“This project is being done without the consent and against the will of the people of Atlanta,” Rukia Rogers, a member of the Weelaunee Coalition, said during the public comment portion before the vote. Rogers was one of the hundreds of protesters who trekked out to City Hall this week, waiting in line for hours for a chance to speak out against Cop City’s development. 

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