Atlanta City Council approves funding for controversial public safety training center

ATLANTA — After hours of public comment, the Atlanta City Council adopted the budget for the controversial Atlanta Public Training Center early Tuesday.

The city council voted 11-4 in favor of the $67 million funding bill.

Ultimately the breakdown of the funds comes to $31 million in direct funding plus $1.4 million a year in a lease-back agreement with the Atlanta Police Foundation.

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Multiple Channel 2 Action News reporters brought you live updates throughout the day, on WSB Tonight at 11 p.m. and Channel 2 Action News This Morning leading up to the vote. Hundreds of protesters spoke during the public comment session which lasted until 3:30 a.m.

The councilmembers discussed other items on the agenda until it was time to vote around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. Chants of “Cop City will never be built” echoed throughout city hall after the legislation passed.

Jason Winston, Amir R. Farokhi, Byron Amos, Alex Wan, Howard Shook, Mary Norwood, Dustin R. Hills, Andrea L. Boone, Marci Collier Overstreet, Michael Julian Bond and Matt Westmoreland voted yes in favor of funding the facility.

Liliana Bakhtiari, Antonio Lewis, Jason Dozier and Keisha Sean Waites voted no to funding the facility.


The council approved legislation in 2021 that authorized a ground lease agreement with the Atlanta Police Foundation to build the training facility along Key Road. Since its approval, the project has been controversial leading to clashes between police and protesters at the future site.

Opposition to the facility grew louder after Manuel Teran, 26, was shot and killed during a Jan. 18 raid at the site. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Teran opened fire on troopers as they tried to clear the site.

Within the past year, dozens of protesters have been arrested on domestic terrorism charges. On Wednesday, the GBI arrested three people connected to protests on money laundering and charity fraud charges.

Marlon Scott Kautz, age 39, of Atlanta, Savannah D Patterson, age 30, of Savannah, and Adele Maclean, age 42, of Atlanta, work for the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, a nonprofit and bail fund that offers support for protesters who are arrested, according to a release by Stop Cop City.

A judge granted all three of them bond on Friday, saying he didn’t think the allegations were serious enough for the three to remain in jail before their trial begins.

“It’s not a lot of meat on the bones,” Judge James Altman told the court. “I don’t find it real impressive.”

Some of the bond conditions for the three included staying away from the training facility site and ceasing activity with the Forest Defense Fund.

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