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Dear Decaturish – Stop ‘Cop City’ now

Crime and public safety DeKalb County Editor's Pick Trending

Dear Decaturish – Stop ‘Cop City’ now

People hold signs during a rally outside the DeKalb County Courthouse in Decatur on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, to demand District Attorney Sherry Boston drop all charges against six individuals arrested Dec. 13 & 14, 2022, during a police raid at the Old Atlanta Prison Farm, the site of the proposed 85-acre police/fire training facility for the city of Atlanta, dubbed “Cop City” by opponents. Photo by Dean Hesse.

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Dear Decaturish,

I lament the discovery of hazardous materials, such as the boards studded with nails found in Intrenchment Creek Park, perhaps a foolish tactic by the protestors. I lament that these necessitated closing the park. In fact, I am disgusted by this whole rammed-through affair.

The entrenched interests in the proposed public training center have used flagrantly heavy-handed tactics and propaganda to have their way. I had to laugh (grimly) at the protestors’ designation as “terrorists,” as loaded a term as that is, necessitating calling up the National Guard (really?!), and at the accusation of them throwing “incendiary devices,” implying bombs – firecrackers!

I am so very disappointed that Mayor Dickens and DeKalb CEO Thurmond have succumbed to the political pressure to force its continuation. I expected better of them. The broad opposition to this project’s site is so clear, its hasty “environmental impact study” support so questionable, and its rubber-stamp “citizens advisory” role so compromised as to be a clear travesty of the process to safeguard the rights of the surrounding communities…. which include all of DeKalb and Atlanta.

I call on them to stop the project NOW and to revisit its siting before any more environmental and social damage is done. A better training center is needed, but should never have been sited inside the perimeter. Especially amid the peace of the South River Forest, one of our few treasured wooded areas within our city’s sprawl.

— Marie Josette Murray

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