Protestors arrested after gathering to oppose new Atlanta police training facility

ATLANTA — Several protesters were arrested Saturday night after activists gathered to protest a police training center being built in Atlanta.

Channel 2′s Larry Spruill was there as about 50 protestors who met at Freedom Park on Saturday for the protest.

“We’re a part of the movement to defend the forest. The forest is also known as the South River Forest,” said one protestor identified only as Kay.

This protest is in retaliation to the Atlanta City Council’s decision last year to approve the construction for a new police and fire training center, which would be built on 85 acres just outside of the city limits at Old Atlanta Prison Farms on Keys Road.

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These protestors told Spruill that they don’t approve.

”Climate change, Atlanta is a place that’s better off climate-wise because of the tree canopy. Another reason is gentrification and what having a huge cop militarized forest would do to further gentrification in this city,” said protestor Sarah Abdelaziz.

The protest began with activists marching down Moreland Ave.

A Channel 2 viewer gave Spruill cell phone video that showed several protestors on the ground with zip lock ties around their wrists. Channel 2 cameras also recorded an Atlanta Police Prisoners van and police officers with zip locks.

Around the corner from that scene, Channel 2 cameras saw three police units.

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Spruill reached out to Atlanta police about this situation, and was told by a representative that, “Units responded to a gathering of multiple persons in the area of Moreland Ave and Euclid. I do not have arrest details at this time, but the crowd has been dispersed.”

Atlanta police say the new facility will allow them to further train their officers.

“This training facility will not only help boost morale, retention and recruitment of our public safety personnel, but will give us physical space to ensure that our officers and firefighters are receiving 21st century training, rooted in respect and regard for the communities they serve. We will continue to work with the impacted communities on how to best thoughtfully develop and preserve the surrounding property,” an APD spokesperson said.

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There is no word on the number of people arrested.

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