23 Charged With Domestic Terrorism After Violent Protests in Atlanta

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23 Charged With Domestic Terrorism After Violent Protests in Atlanta

By Michael Katz    |   Monday, 06 March 2023 07:14 PM EST




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More than 20 people have been charged with domestic terrorism Monday following a night of violent protests at the proposed site of an Atlanta public safety training facility.

Atlanta police said Monday in a news release 23 people were charged with domestic terrorism resulting from the protests Sunday, with only two residents of Georgia. Two charged were from France and Canada and others were from as far away as Arizona, Colorado and Utah.

According to WSB-TV, police said one of the Georgia residents arrested was Thomas Webb Jurgens, 28, who works as a staff attorney for the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been utilized by the FBI to target Christian and conservative organizations as “hate groups.”

Those suspects could also face federal charges as the investigation proceeds, the FBI said Monday, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference Sunday night protesters were attending an event nearby the training facility. He said some “left that location and at about 5:30 p.m. moved toward the training center site armed with fireworks, rocks, Molotov cocktails and launched a coordinated criminal attack against officers at that location.”

The police department said multiple pieces of construction equipment were destroyed by fire and vandalism. Police initially detained 35 people.

“Actions such as this will not be tolerated,” Schierbaum said. “When you attack law enforcement officers, damage equipment, you are breaking the law.

“This was a very violent attack. This was not about a public safety training center, this was about anarchy, and this was an attempt to destabilize.”

Atlanta police provided links to videos of the protests, including one that shows officers retreating behind a fenced area when protesters behind another fenced area threw objects at them, including fireworks. Another video shows protesters setting construction equipment ablaze and throwing objects at police cars.

“What happened [Sunday] night was not [a] peaceful protest, it was violence, plain and simple,” Republican Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement posted Monday on his Twitter account. “We will not tolerate this destruction of property, and we will seek to ensure that those who have engaged in this criminal behavior are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

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