Atlanta police have released video of protesters throwing a Molotov cocktail at police officers as they were attempting to arrest them for trespassing on the grounds of what will be the new Public Safety Training Facility for officers and firefighters.
The protesters had camped out in a nearby forest for more than seven months.
Police confirmed that seven people were arrested Tuesday as law enforcement tried to remove them from the property, which is privately owned by the City of Atlanta.
Police said that protesters became combative. Some of them picked up rocks, while at least one Molotov cocktail was thrown at them and contractors working on the project.
“The action today was to remove some illegal structures that had been built on the site,” police said. “Fortunately, no one was hurt, and the eight individuals arrested were not harmed during this operation.”
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On Wednesday, police released the names of the seven people who were arrested:
- Phillip A Flagg, 28, Worchester, Massachusetts.
- Lee Ana-Gypsy, 38, Gainesville, Georgia.
- Elizabeth Hoitt-Lange, 24, Sea Cliff, New York.
- Erin Brault, 27, Sykesville, Maryland.
- Madeleine Kodat, 28, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Brooke Courtemanche, 26, Wooster, Ohio.
- Abigail E. Skapyak, 23, Minneapolis, Minnesota — two charges (Criminal trespassing and false name).
All of the suspects have been charged with criminal trespass.
“We are grateful for the assistance provided by our local, state and federal law enforcement partners and we will continue our work to secure this site,” police said in a news release Wednesday.
The group behind the protests, the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying:
“It seems APD is hoping to distract attention from the violent crackdown they conducted against Inman Park neighbors and peaceful activists by showcasing an unrelated incident in a different location days later.
“Just this morning, those arrested on Saturday appeared in court and got all charges immediately dropped because there was no evidence to support police allegations. This reinforces our assertion that APD is using a strategy of lies and intimidation to suppress a political movement. It’s not acceptable in a free society to trample on the rights of civil protesters and when held accountable, simply change the subject.”
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