Letter: We don’t need ‘Cop City’

Graphic by Lori Deaton

The Atlanta Police Foundation is trying to build the largest police training facility in the U.S. in Weelaunee Forest, a watershed surrounded by primarily Black residents who overwhelmingly oppose the project.

The plans include military-grade training facilities and a mock city to practice urban warfare.

A precious and beautiful urban forest will be destroyed if this is built.

This facility will serve as a training center for militarized police forces throughout the U.S. For what purpose? Could it be aimed at the repression of poor people, BIPOC people, LGBTQ people and those who dissent? Given the experience of policing in this country, how could anyone think otherwise?

People are resisting in Atlanta and are committed to stopping this facility from being built. And they are being met by police and prosecutorial repression. One nonviolent forest protector, known as Tortuguita, has been shot and killed by the police, and 42 others have been falsely charged with felony domestic terrorism.

It is easy to see how the increasing militarization of police forces at home mirrors the use of U.S. armed forces around the world. In whose interest is all of this, we should ask? Many of us see it as the enforcement of white supremacy and the exploitation of land and people for the benefit of the wealthy class.

In Asheville, policing has been used to criminalize the homeless and those who act to provide mutual aid to them. The Asheville Police Department will likely be invited to the Cop City training center if it is allowed to be built. We don’t need or want our local police getting such training.

Stop Cop City now.

For more information: [avl.mx/cml] and [avl.mx/cmm].

— Ken Jones


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5 thoughts on “Letter: We don’t need ‘Cop City’

  1. Dionne Foley

    We don’t need a Cop city officer’s are already abuse their power of authority. All police departments really need to reevaluate how they handle the Mental ill person’s calls and how they treat the Mentally ill in jails and prisons and even how Mentally ill in our hospital psych wards.

  2. Grant Millin

    I don’t necessarily just accept the government and mainstream media treatment to every issue but at least the following items deserve to be included in the discussion of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center. Also, is the Asheville Police Department planning on using the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center?




  3. Susan

    I agree. Our police in the USA do not need military training for urban warfare. They are supposed to “serve and protect” and that means protecting people, not shooting them.

  4. Laura Mayes

    It is clear to me that the events occurring so far at Copy City has set a precedent for what is to come. The killing of a peaceful environmentalist who was shot more than 20 times and the charges of 42 others with felony domestic terrorism, has set the stage for military style police training. There are 6 state legislators in Georgia who are calling on the US Attorney General to conduct a federal investigation into the killing of Tortugita. Georgia Bureau of Investigation is claiming police self defense. However, the Dekalb County Medical Examiner’s office has declared the killing a HOMICIDE. The bodycam released by police show nothing, but you can hear the repeated shots fired and a police officer asking if they are doing “target practice” . This is scary and unacceptable behavior from our police!

    • Grant Millin

      Homicide means death caused purposefully by another human. The issue would be whether a person died at the hands of law enforcement in a unlawful manner.

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