On Sunday night in Georgia, machinery at the upcoming “Cop City” Atlanta Public Safety Training Center began to spew smoke and flames.
On its website, FOX 5 Atlanta published a video showing a bulldozer, other pieces of machinery, and some grass on fire.
Georgia State Troopers were seen directing traffic with their squad cars to keep people away from the site, and many more law enforcement personnel were visible in the footage.
According to FOX 5, protesters and law enforcement officers are fighting at the facility on Key Road in southeast Atlanta.
According to a Georgia State Trooper, a Molotov cocktail was reportedly hurled, the station added.
Questions concerning the incident were not immediately answered by city officials or the Atlanta Police Department.
Protesters have voiced opposition to the new facility’s construction.
The City Council authorized spending $90 million on the training facility in 2021 with the aim that it would replace subpar programs and improve police morale, which had been plagued by problems with hiring and retention following the George Floyd demonstrations of 2020.
Opponents opposed to the facility, who identify as “forest defenders,” claim that “Cop City” will result in a loss of trees that will harm the ecosystem. Additionally, they object to investing so much money in a project that they say will be used to practice “urban warfare.”
Since December, protests against the Atlanta police and fire department’s training center have resulted in at least 19 people being detained and charged with domestic terrorism. On 85 wooded acres in southwest DeKalb County, where there formerly was a prison farm, a new facility is being built.
When Georgia State Troopers responded to “Cop City” to remove demonstrators, they fatally shot 26-year-old environmental activist Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, setting off a violent riot in downtown Atlanta that resulted in six of the 19 arrests.
Teran, who allegedly went by the name Tortuguita and identified as non-binary, allegedly shot a trooper in the abdomen before law enforcement officers retaliated and killed Teran, according to the authorities.
Days later, demonstrators flung rocks and lighted fireworks in front of a skyscraper in downtown Atlanta that housed the Atlanta Police Foundation. They also set a police cruiser on fire.