‘Cop City’ vote: Atlanta City Council to vote on budget for project


(ATLANTA) — The Atlanta City Council will vote Monday on allocating up to $31 million to “support the continued construction of and improvements to” the controversial Atlanta Public Safety Training Center.

The vote, happening at 1 p.m., could amend the 2023 general fund budget to transfer and allocate no more than $30 million to support the facility.

It would also authorize the mayor or chief financial officer to use $1 million in public safety impact fees to install a gymnasium facility on the project site.

The center, set to be used for specialized training for both law enforcement and fire department service workers, has garnered national attention for the riotous protests against it.

City officials assert the center could improve policing, while critics claim the effort is militarizing police and endangering local forests. Protesters have dubbed the training center “Cop City.”

The center will include an “auditorium for police/fire and public use,” a “mock city for burn building training and urban police training,” an “Emergency Vehicle Operator Course for emergency vehicle driver training,” a K-9 unit kennel and training, according to the center’s website.

The first phase of the training center is scheduled to open in late 2023.

Protests against the center escalated when a protester, Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, was shot and killed by police on Jan. 23 as they raided the campground occupied by demonstrators against the project.

Terán had at least 57 gunshot wounds in their body, according to the autopsy by the DeKalb County Medical Examiner sent to ABC News, including in the hands, torso, legs and head.

Officials said the protester fired the first shot at a state trooper, and the officer responded with the fatal shot.

According to the autopsy, Terán did not have gunpowder residue on their hands.

Since Terán’s death, protests have continued, with dozens of protesters arrested.

Last week, police arrested three Atlanta leaders of the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, which has bailed out protesters and helped them find lawyers. They were charged with money laundering and charity fraud and have since been granted bond.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.