Protests in Atlanta prompt Georgia governor to declare state of emergency

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Georgia governor to declare state of emergency

After a shooting near a controversial future law enforcement training site last week, in which a Georgia state trooper was wounded and a man was killed, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday and activated 1,000 National Guard troops to address ongoing violent protests in downtown Atlanta.

According to the document, the state of emergency will last until Feb. 9, unless the governor extends it.

Protests in Atlanta are centered around the building of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, nicknamed “Cop City.” Protesters have been there for months, but on Jan. 18, law enforcement shot and killed a protester identified as Manuel Esteban Paez Teran after authorities said he shot and wounded a Georgia state trooper during a multi-agency operation to remove protestors from the area. As a result, the trooper was hospitalized and survived the incident.

During protests at “Cop City” on Jan. 21, six people were arrested for setting a fire to a police car and damaging property. According to Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, some of the protestors arrested had explosives on them. There were no injuries.

Activists threw rocks, fired fireworks, and burned a police car outside the Atlanta Police Foundation’s office building, the declaration said. The Georgian people respect peaceful protests, but violence against property or persons is not tolerated.” 

Georgia National Guard members are authorized to respond to continued protests under a state of emergency declaration. A soldier who is activated will have the same rights of arrest and apprehension as a law enforcement officer.

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