Georgia governor declares state of emergency, activates 1,000 National Guard troops amid Atlanta protests
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency on Thursday and activated 1,000 National Guard troops in response to ongoing violent protests in downtown Atlanta after a shooting last week near a controversial future law enforcement training ground where a Georgia soldier was wounded and a man was shot. killed.
The state of emergency is in effect until Feb. 9, according to the document, unless extended by the governor.
The protests in Atlanta are taking place around the building of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, nicknamed “Cop City”. Protesters have been at the site for months, but on January 18, a protester identified himself as Manuel Esteban Paez Teran was shot and killed by law enforcement after authorities said he shot and wounded a Georgia State soldier during a planned multi-agency operation to remove protesters from the area. The soldier was hospitalized and survived.
21st of January six people were arrested after protests in “Cop City” caused property damage and set fire to a police vehicle. Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said some of the arrested protesters were carrying explosives. No one was injured.
Kemp specifically referenced the burned-out car in his state of emergency declaration.
“Masked activists threw rocks, threw fireworks and set fire to a police vehicle in front of the Atlanta Police Foundation office building,” the statement read in part. “Georgians respect peaceful protests but do not condone violence against persons or property.”
The state of emergency declaration authorizes the use of the Georgia National Guard in response to ongoing protests. Activated troops will have “the same powers of arrest and detention as law enforcement officers.”