Protesters damaged property at several locations on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta Saturday after a shooting earlier this week outside the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center — a controversial future law enforcement training site — that left a Georgia state trooper wounded and one a man is killed.
Masked activists dressed in all black threw rocks and lit fireworks in front of the skyscraper that houses the Atlanta Police Foundation, breaking large glass windows, the Associated Press reported. They then set a police car on fire and daubed other buildings with anti-police graffiti as the stunned tourists dispersed, the AP reported.
“At this time, several arrests were made and order was restored downtown,” Atlanta police said on social media.
Tensions between protesters and law enforcement over the future location of the exercise had been building for the past few months, until it boiled over last Wednesday.
Military State of Georgia was shot and wounded Wednesday morning, and a man, identified by police as 26-year-old Manuel Esteban Paez Terrano, was fatally wounded during a planned interagency operation to remove protesters from the property, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
The trooper was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and immediately taken into surgery, officials said. He was listed in stable condition as of Thursday, the Georgia State Patrol said. The identity of the soldier has not yet been released.
Friday by the GBI posted a photo of the gun he said Teran was carrying at the time of the shooting. It said ballistics analysis of the projectile that wounded the soldier matched Teran’s 9mm Smith & Wesson M&P Shield.
Activists questioned the officials’ version of events, calling it a “murder” and demanding an independent investigation, the Associated Press reported. The incident was not caught on body cameras, according to the GBI.
In December, five people were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism and other charges after allegedly throwing rocks and bottles at the training center, officials said. Over the course of several months, protesters allegedly destroyed property, set fires and stole cars, and threw rocks, bottles and other objects at police, according to the GBI.
“These are not acts of peaceful protest. These are criminal acts designed to destabilize communities and threaten citizens,” GBI Director Michael Register said this week. The agency is investigating the recent shooting of a soldier.
Police had been sending officers to the site for months because of the high “security threat,” the Register said.
Seven people have been arrested so far on charges of domestic terrorism and criminal trespass in connection with Wednesday’s protest, according to the GBI. According to the AP, they range in age from 20 to 34, and none are residents of Georgia.