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Molotov cocktails were thrown into a construction site set to become a new training facility for the Atlanta Police Department while protesters were demonstrating Tuesday, videos released by the department Wednesday showed.
One video shows a device fly over a chain-link fence and burst into flames yards away from where three officers were standing. After several minutes, a fire truck arrives and puts out the blaze. Another video shows what police called an incendiary device land on nearby Key Road that doesn’t ignite.
No one was injured, but seven arrests were made, the department said in a release. It’s unclear if any of the arrests were connected to the Molotov cocktails.
Rocks were also thrown at police at the site, the department said.
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Police said several people were on the police/city-owned property illegally, including in illegally built treehouses. Those arrested for criminal trespass include Phillup A Flagg, 28; Lee Ana-Gypsy, 38; Elizabeth Hoitt-Lange, 24; Erin Brault, 27; Madeleine Kodat, 28; Brooke Courtmanche, 26; and Abigail E. Skapyak, 23. Skapyak also faces a charge of giving a false name.
Police said none of the people arrested lived in Atlanta although several claimed they did, according to FOX 5 Atlanta.
ATLANTA OFFICERS PELTED WITH ROCKS, ‘MOLOTOV COCKTAIL’ AT ‘COP CITY’ DURING PROTEST, POLICE SAY
The department said the Georgia State Patrol, the Dekalb County Sheriff, the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations were called in to assist.
The department said “forest defenders,” who have been camping at the site since last year, are hampering construction efforts and making trees unsafe to cut down, FOX 5 reported.
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“This is an attempt to demoralize a vibrant and diverse movement that is led by local community members against the replacement of the largest urban tree canopy in the United States the largest police training compound in the United States,” said Mae Johnson, an activist who lives near the site.
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Some protesters against the new training site claim it is an expansion of the “police state.”