How a Police Protest in Atlanta Launched a ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Warzone

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty

ATLANTA—By around 1 a.m. on Thursday, an activist identified in jail records as Timothy Murphy, but who tends to go by another name, said they had been without food or water for some 16 hours while perched “incredibly high” up in a tree. The 25-year-old was, by their own account, acting as a sort of sentry—guarding a forest from the forces trying to transform it into a colossal and controversial new police and firefighter training facility dubbed Cop City.

It had been hours, Murphy told The Daily Beast in text messages, since law enforcement had ordered arborists to lop off the limbs that, for weeks, held activists’ food and makeshift shelter—hours since police shot dead a nearby fellow “tree sitter” after, authorities claimed, cops were fired upon first. (Activist groups have called the shooting a “murder.”) Still, even after hearing the piercing crack of gunfire a few hundred feet away, their muscles sore, throat parched, and stomach growling, Murphy said they did not budge—not until their arrest around 7 a.m.

The Wednesday morning shooting death of protester Manuel Teran, coupled with the domestic terrorism charges against those fighting to thwart the development, marked a major escalation in the fight over the South River Forest, which encompasses hundreds of acres just southeast of the city of Atlanta. It also represented a sort of capstone to months of chaos in a city grappling with a recent legacy of police brutality and anti-cop rage on one hand, and anxiety about crime on the other.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Source: The Daily Beast

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