Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issues state of emergency over violent protests

Author: Yuvi January 27, 2023

The governor of Georgia on Thursday issued a state of emergency order over continued protests in connection to a proposed Atlanta police training facility.

The order from Governor Brian Kemp will last 15 days and includes the mobilization of 1,000 Georgia National Guards troops. 

This comes a week after 26-year-old Manuel Teran, a protestor, allegedly shot a state trooper before gunfire was returned and he was killed. The trooper is expected to survive. 

‘Georgians respect peaceful protest, but do not tolerate acts of violence against persons or property,’ the state of emergency issued Thursday reads.

Protests have been going on for months in connection to the proposed Atlanta Police Training Facility which has been dubbed ‘Cop City’ 

Several days ago, the Republican governor spoke with Fox Business about the training facility, calling it a ‘little bit controversial.’ 

‘There have been some folks that are environmental protestors, most of that group has been peaceful. But some domestic terrorists, anarchists – whatever you want to call them – you know, really have been damaging property, assaulting workers, state employees and other people,’ Kemp said. 

The protests are over the proposed Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, dubbed ‘Cop City.’ 

On January 21, six people were arrested after protests turned violent in the city. 

Protestors began damaging property and even set a police cruiser on fire. In his order, Kemp specifically mentioned the burnt car. 

‘Masked activists threw rocks, launched fireworks and burned a police vehicle in front of the Atlanta Police Foundation office building,’ the declaration read. 

‘Georgians respect peaceful protests, but do not tolerate acts of violence against persons or property,’ it continued. 

At the time, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said some in attendance were found with explosives.

Protests took a violent turn last week when one protestor was shot and killed after shooting at Georgia State Troopers

A protester is detained during demonstrations related to the death of Manuel Teran

26-year-old Manuel Teran, a protestor, allegedly shot a state trooper before gunfire was returned and he was killed

Protestors began damaging property and even set a police cruiser on fire. In his order, Kemp specifically mentioned the burnt car

The order, issued by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, will last 15 days 

Protestors have been at the site for months but turned deadly on January 18 when Teran shot at Georgia State Troopers. 

The trooper’s identity is not being revealed over safety concerns.  

The state of emergency order signed Thursday ‘grants the Governor authority to empower the Georgia National Guard to subdue riot and unlawful assembly.’

In a statement, the Atlanta Police Department said they are ‘closely monitoring’ the Memphis situation and are preparing for protests in their own city. 

‘We understand and share in the outrage surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols,’ the department wrote in part. 

‘Police officers are expected to conduct themselves in a compassionate, competent, and constitutional manner and these officers failed Tyre, their communities and their profession. We ask that demonstrations be safe and peaceful,’ the statement read. 

This was the scene in Atlanta on January 21 

Violent protestors clashed with police and law enforcement downtown 

The order signed by Kemp mobilizes up to 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops 

Protestors hold signs during demonstrations related to the death of Manuel Teran who was killed during a police raid inside Weelaunee People’s Park

Early Thursday morning, the five fired Memphis police officers were charged on Thursday with second-degree murder over the death of Tyre Nichols – who died three days after being beaten during a January 7 traffic stop.

Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Desmond Mills, Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith are now in custody.

In addition to second-degree murder, the five were also charged with aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression.  

On Thursday afternoon DA Steve Mulroy briefed the press, saying his team had moved ‘swiftly, but also fairly’ to review the case that led to the charges against the five officers. He added that the police bodycam footage of the incident will be released sometime after 6pm Central Time on Friday.

Second-degree murder, described by the Memphis District Attorney as a ‘knowing murder,’ is punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison under Tennessee law.

Tyre Nichols is pictured in hospital after the incident. The 29-year-old from Memphis died on January 10 from cardiac arrest and kidney failure, three days after he was pulled over for reckless driving by police in unmarked cars

This combo of booking images provided by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office shows, from top row from left, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, bottom row from left, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith. The five former Memphis police officers have been charged with second-degree murder and other crimes in the arrest and death of Tyre Nichols, a Black motorist who died three days after a confrontation with the officers during a traffic stop, records showed Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

This portrait of Tyre Nichols was displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, January 17, 2023. Family Attorney Ben Crump said police bodycam footage showed Nichols being shocked, pepper sprayed and restrained after he was pulled over minutes away from his home

LaRay Honeycutt, center, along with family members attend a memorial service for her grandson Tyre Nichols, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Memphis, Tennessee

All five former cops were detained on bonds of up to $350,000.

Court records don’t list attorneys for Smith, Bean or Haley. Martin’s lawyer, William Massey, confirmed that his client had turned himself in. He and Mills’ lawyer, Blake Ballin, said they planned to discuss the charges at a news conference later Thursday.

Nichols, a 29-year-old FedEx driver, was pulled over on January 7 by the Memphis police for what was initially reported as reckless driving.

That interaction led to a violent confrontation that put him in the hospital, where he would die three days later (January 10) due to ‘extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,’ according to preliminary results of an autopsy commissioned by attorneys for his family.

He reportedly suffered cardiac arrest and kidney failure following the allegedly brutal interaction with the officers.

27 January, 2023, 8:11 am

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