A Georgia state trooper was wounded and a protester killed Wednesday in Dekalb at the site of a planned police training center. Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Mike Register said during a press conference that the protester fired on law enforcement and police returned fire "in self defense." Protesters have opposed construction of the police facility for more than a year. Photo courtesy of Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Jan. 18 (UPI) -- One Georgia state trooper was wounded and a protester was killed in an exchange of gunfire Wednesday, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. It happened at a site in Dekalb, where a controversial public safety training center will be built.
Georgia Department of Public Safety Colonel Chris Wright said during a press conference Wednesday that the trooper shot is in stable condition and undergoing surgery.
In that press conference, GBI Director Mike Register said officers were conducting an operation in an area where "several people were arrested for domestic terrorism a few weeks ago."
"Law enforcement was fired on by a subject. One law enforcement officer, a Georgia state trooper, was shot ... of course, law enforcement returned fire in self-defense, struck the subject involved in the shooting and he's deceased at the scene," Register said.
The GBI is continuing to investigate. Police have not yet identified the protester who was killed or the trooper who was wounded in the exchange of gunfire.
For more than a year that site has been the target of protests.
The StopCopCity protest web site vows that the police training center will never be built, saying on its website homepage that the site is not in the best interest of area communities of color.
Police were trying to clear protesters when the shooting happened Wednesday.
"Atlanta Police Foundation is trying to build the largest police training facility in the United States in Weelaunee Forest, a watershed surrounded by primarily Black resident who overwhelmingly oppose the project," a web site statement said.
A post on the site asserts that police foundations "and their corporate sponsors" privately fund the ongoing militarization and expansion of policing -- targeting Black, Brown and Indigenous communities."
Six people were arrested in December and charged with domestic terrorism following clashes between protesters and police. Some protesters have thrown Molotov cocktails, rocks and other objects at police and contractors, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Stopcop.city site states that, "Behind closed doors, police foundations and their corporate sponsors privately fund the ongoing militarization and expansion of policing - targeting Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities."