Following a police-involved shooting which resulted in a state trooper being wounded and one man killed, protesters in Atlanta are demanding retribution.
Scenes from the Atlanta Forest, a Twitter account, has called for a “Night of Rage” on Friday to exact vengeance upon law enforcement. In their post, the group wrote, “Consider this a call for reciprocal violence to be done to the police and their allies.” This statement appears to violate Twitter’s terms and conditions.
The Defenders of the Forest, a group that is protesting the planned construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, has distanced themselves from Scenes from the Atlanta Forest. In a statement to Fox News Digital, they said they are a “broad, diverse, decentralized movement” and only serve as a “news aggregator for the movement” and are not connected to Scenes from the Atlanta Forest.
In the wake of a Georgia State Patrol trooper being shot in the abdomen Wednesday morning during an attempt to clear an encampment near the proposed site of the $90 million Atlanta Police Department (APD) facility, a joint task force comprised of the GBI, Atlanta Police Department, Georgia Attorney General’s Office, DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, FBI, DeKalb County Police Department, Department of Natural Resources, and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) was formed in order to combat criminal activity at the APD site.
Hours later, Defend the Atlanta Forest, a group advocating for the protection of the forest, tweeted that “The police will kill you if given the chance. Now is the time for bravery. Take care of each other. Be dangerous together”.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) revealed that during the operation, officers located a man inside a tent in the woods who did not comply to verbal commands, thus shooting the trooper. Other law enforcement officers then returned fire, hitting the man and killing him on the spot.
The injured trooper was taken to a local hospital and underwent surgery. A handgun and shell casings were also found at the scene. The identities of the officer and the deceased have yet to be released.
During a press conference, GBI director Michael Register stated that the shooting was done in self-defense as the now-deceased individual opened fire “without warning”. Four others were arrested and taken to the DeKalb County Jail, with charges pending.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp tweeted that he and his family were praying for law enforcement officers.
In light of the shooting, Defend the Atlanta Forest held a vigil Wednesday evening at the Little Five Points Square to “memorialize the forest defender”. The group said on Twitter that “Today the police shot and killed a forest defender below the canopy of our beloved forest”, and that “police killed a forest defender today, someone who loved the forest, someone who fought to protect the earth & its inhabitants”. They concluded that “This is why we organize to stop Cop City. And we will. In honor of their life, and the lives of everyone killed and imprisoned by the police.”