DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A protest turned into a fiery construction site Saturday evening in DeKalb County after hundreds gathered to demonstrate against the City of Atlanta’s plan to build a police and fire training facility in a wooded area.
Peaceful demonstrators told Channel 2 Action News their night started with a music festival in the wooded area off Constitution Rd. SE. Around 5:00 p.m., attendees told Channel 2′s Courtney Francisco on WSB Tonight 11 p.m. that a group branched off and began protesting on the other side of the wooded area.
[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]
A law enforcement source confirmed to Channel 2 Action News more than 100 people caused havoc, shooting fireworks at officers and setting fire to construction equipment.
At that time, police moved in on concertgoers.
“I looked at my friend and I’m like I think it’s about time we take our leave,” said Gregory Spies.
Groups against building the training facility held the concert Saturday. It was one of a string of events they had planned this week.
Stop Cop City and Defend Atlanta Forest promoted it on social media as a “week of action” and “mass mobilization”, asking people from around the country to attend in solidarity with their cause.
- Heavy police presence, smoke at proposed APD training facility site
- Police, construction crews moving into site of proposed APD training facility
- Deal reached to move forward with APD training facility with community, forest protections
- Trooper recovering, shooter dead after raid at proposed APD training facility, GBI says
- Body camera footage of protester killed by GSP trooper ‘doesn’t exist,’ GBI officials say
“A large number of people camped in the woods back there. There were, you know, 10 person tents back there renaissance fair style,” said Spies. “There were children back there.”
When officers moved in to the music festival area, cell phone video captured officers tasing at least one person. Officers were also seen putting a couple in zip ties and putting them in the back of a cruiser.
Officers allowed a smaller group of people to remain in the woods where the concert continued until 9:30 p.m.
[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]
IN OTHER NEWS:
©2022 Cox Media Group