ATLANTA – Protesters in Atlanta, are calling for violence against police officers and their affiliates following an officer-involved shooting on Wednesday that left a suspect dead and a state trooper wounded.
The Twitter account belonging to a group called “Scenes from the Atlanta Forest” are calling for a “Night of Rage” on Friday to demonstrate “reciprocal violence to be done to the police and their allies,” according to the account holder, Fox News reported.
“Consider this a call for reciprocal violence to be done to the police and their allies. On Friday, January 20th, wherever you are, you are invited to participate in a night of rage in order to honor the memory of our fallen comrade,” the group wrote on Twitter, which seems to clearly violate the platform’s terms and conditions of use.
The account claims to be connected to the group, “Defend the Atlanta Forest,” one of several organizations protesting an area where the city is set to construct the new Atlanta Public Safety Training Center.
In a statement to Fox News, the “Defend the Forest” group said it is “a broad, diverse, decentralized movement to defend the Atlanta forest.” They claim they are only a “news aggregator for the movement” and “not affiliated” with “Scenes from the Atlanta Forest.”
In yet another tweet, posted several hours later, the group dispensed more propaganda: “The police will kill you if given the chance. Now is the time for bravery. Take care of each other. Be dangerous together.”
The upcoming call for violence comes after a Georgia State Patrol trooper was shot in the abdomen Wednesday morning. Police returned fire and the suspect was killed. The trooper had to undergo surgery and is in stable condition, according to GBI.
Authorities have not released the identities of the wounded trooper or deceased suspect.
The OIS occurred as law enforcement authorities tried to clear an encampment near the site where the $90 million Atlanta Police Department (APD) facility will be constructed.
The sweep was conducted as “an operation to identify people who are trespassing and committing other crimes on the property,” the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said.
“At about 9:00 a.m. today, as law enforcement was moving through the property, officers located a man inside a tent in the woods. Officers gave verbal commands to the man who did not comply and shot a Georgia State Patrol Trooper,” GBI said in a statement. “Other law enforcement officers returned fire, hitting the man.”
During a multi-agency operation on Constitution Rd., one person fired shots at law enforcement. Law enforcement fired back. A Georgia State Trooper was hit and taken to the hospital and is in surgery. One man was killed. This is an active investigation. pic.twitter.com/HEg3I2yMEa
— GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) January 18, 2023
“Law enforcement evacuated the Trooper to a safe area. The man died on scene,” it added.
The bureau continued: “The injured Georgia State Patrol Trooper was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery. A handgun and shell casings were located at the scene. The GBI is working the officer-involved shooting and the investigation is still active and ongoing.”
GBI Director Michael Register confirmed during a press conference that the shooting was in self-defense after the suspect who died in the shooting opened fire “without warning” on the trooper, Fox reported.
“An individual, without warning, shot a Georgia State Patrol trooper,” Register told reporters. “Other law enforcement personnel returned fire in self-defense and evacuated the trooper to a safe area. The individual who fired upon law enforcement and shot the trooper was killed in the exchange of gunfire.”
A Georgia State Patrol trooper is recovering after being shot and injured during the operation and one man was shot and killed by law enforcement.
— GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) January 19, 2023
Following the shooting, four other suspects were arrested and booked at the DeKalb County Jail. Charges are pending.
“They’re endangering the community and the citizens around this area,” Register said of the encampment and the protesters, FOX 5 Atlanta reported.
In December, five members of Antifa were arrested on domestic terrorism charges after they were protesting outside of the planned APD training center, Law Officer reported.
The site of the planned training center has been the focal point of protests for months by Antifa who have referred to the location – which protesters previously made an autonomous zone – as “Cop City.” Many of those who were arrested were holed up in treehouses where police later recovered explosives, according to the Gateway Pundit.
Among the photos documenting the protest is an image of a group of ski mask-clad protesters standing over a truck with a banner reading, “No forest, no peace, truck the police,” as well as a smaller sign that read, “No Cop City.”
On Dec. 14, the GBI wrote: “Yesterday, December 13, 2022, our agents assisted APD and other local, state, and task force members in an operation to remove barricades blocking some of the entrances to the training center.”
“Prior to yesterday’s operation, APD and other agencies had made several arrests over the past few months for the ongoing criminal activity at the site location. Some of the criminal activities include carjacking, various crimes against persons, destruction of property, arson, and attacks against public safety officials. Law enforcement continues to address the criminal acts committed by the individuals that continue to occupy the area of the proposed training site,” it said.
Weeks after their arrest, an anonymous person with an Antifa-linked Twitter account took credit for starting a fire at a Portland Bank of America branch, Law Officer reported on Jan. 3.
The individual said the arson was in retaliation for domestic terrorism charges brought against five radical militants that were a part of a violent occupation of land in south Atlanta.
Meanwhile, militants in Atlanta said Wednesday on Twitter, “Today the police shot and killed a forest defender below the canopy of our beloved forest. No one can bring our friend back to us. An innocent life has been taken and the machines continue. We will not go quietly into this dark night.”
The radical organization continued in another tweet, “Police killed a forest defender today, someone who loved the forest, someone who fought to protect the earth & its inhabitants.”
And: “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.”
Police killed a forest defender today, someone who loved the forest, someone who fought to protect the earth & its inhabitants.
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.
— Defend the Atlanta Forest (@defendATLforest) January 18, 2023
The joint task force formed to combat ongoing criminal activity at the APD site includes 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).