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(130,227 posts)
Thu Aug 3, 2023, 06:35 AM Aug 2023

'Cop City': civil rights groups urge US to investigate surveillance of protesters

Source: The Guardian

Prominent civil rights and civil liberties organizations have called on the US homeland security department to investigate the agency’s intelligence-gathering on protesters against ‘Cop City’, the police and fire department training center planned for a forest south-east of Atlanta. The organizations draw attention to the dozens of environmental protesters arrested and charged with domestic terrorism in a letter to the department director, Alejandro Mayorkas.

The charges have caused outrage among many observers who accuse Georgia law enforcement of a heavy-handed crackdown on the protest movement. The letter stated that “[r]ecent events in Atlanta make clear that lax DHS standards and intelligence practices have contributed to concerning arrests and prosecution of individuals associated with …[the] movement” against Cop City.

The movement came to global attention after police shot dead Manuel Paez Terán, an environmental protester, in a January raid on the forest – the first incident of its kind in US history. The state says Paez Terán shot first, but video footage from police nearby raises the possibility that one officer wounded another in the raid. A special prosecutor is evaluating the case. Paez Terán was one of dozens of “forest defenders” who had been camping on public park land near where the training center is planned in protest against the project.

Police raids on the forest began last year, resulting in arrests of 42 people on state domestic terrorism charges – another first. Others have been arrested on separate charges. The ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Brennan Center for Justice and Center for Constitutional Rights signed the letter to the DHS, which underlines the “dangers of … vague, overbroad, and stigmatizing terms like ‘domestic violent extremist’ and ‘militant’ to describe individuals who may be engaged in protected First Amendment activity”.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/aug/03/cop-city-protesters-homeland-security-letter

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'Cop City': civil rights groups urge US to investigate surveillance of protesters (Original Post) BumRushDaShow Aug 2023 OP
It's highly likely that Teran was murdered this needs to be investigated neohippie Aug 2023 #1
Kick for outrage Unwind Your Mind Aug 2023 #2
Extremely suspicious Bayard Aug 2023 #3


(1,142 posts)
1. It's highly likely that Teran was murdered this needs to be investigated
Thu Aug 3, 2023, 09:20 AM
Aug 2023


Official autopsy results for Manuel Paez Terán, an environmental activist police shot and killed three months ago during a raid in a Georgia public park near the planned site of a police and fire department training center, do little to advance the state’s version of events, including the notion that the activist shot first, wounding an officer.

Paez Terán, or “Tortuguita”, was one of the “forest defenders” camped throughout the public park less than a mile away from the planned center, known as “Cop City”, when dozens of officers entered the South River Forest south-east of Atlanta, Georgia, on 18 January.

The incident was the first time in US history that police have shot and killed an environmental activist while protesting, galvanizing a surging movement to protect the forest and oppose the training center and transforming Paez Terán into an international figure.

The state’s narrative since then has been that Paez Terán fired first. The Georgia bureau of investigation (GBI), charged with investigating the killing, has only publicly released evidence to date supporting the idea, including a photo of the firearm allegedly used by the activist, and a purchase record of the gun. The officers who shot Paez Terán were from the Georgia state patrol, who generally do not wear body cameras; the state has said there is no footage of the shooting.

DeKalb county’s autopsy, released to the media through open records requests on Wednesday, offers no support for the notion that Paez Terán fired a weapon, stating that “gunpowder residue is not seen on the hands” or clothes of Paez Terán. Residue on the hands might indicate that a person fired a gun, but neither this analysis nor a test known as the GSR kit is foolproof, according to experts.

Patrick Bailey, director of the DeKalb county medical examiner’s office, told the Guardian that the county forwarded evidence to the GBI for them to perform the GSR kit, or gunshot residue test.

Nonetheless, the autopsy report does little to clarify what actually happened that day, except for noting in 19 pages of clinical detail the 57 gunshot wounds that Paez Terán received, employing every letter of the alphabet more than once to label the injuries.


The family's attorneys said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which has been probing the shooting for nearly two months, has prevented Atlanta police from releasing additional evidence to the family. The wooded area where Paez Terán was killed has long been dubbed "Cop City" by opponents who occupied the forest there to protest the 85-acre (34-hectare) tract being developed as a massive police and firefighter training facility.

"Manuel was looking death in the face, hands raised when killed," civil rights attorney Brian Spears said, citing the autopy's conclusions. "We do not stand here today telling you that we know what happened. The second autopsy is a snapshot of what happened, but it is not the whole story. What we want is simple: GBI, meet with the family and release the investigative report."

Unwind Your Mind

(2,045 posts)
2. Kick for outrage
Thu Aug 3, 2023, 10:05 AM
Aug 2023

57 gunshots, no GSR and the cops lied

Looks obvious to me that further investigation is warranted, demanded

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