Hundreds honor activist who died in shootout at future site of training center
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Hundreds gathered Friday at the future site of a public safety training center to honor the life of an activist who died in a shootout with state troopers on the same grounds.
“Heartbreak and outrage about the police murdering an activist, who was standing up for my daughter’s future,” said Bernadette Naro, a resident of College Park, who visited with her 1-year-old daughter.
Critics of ‘Cop City’ brought flowers and candles. one person brought a turtle shell to honor Manuel Teran, whose nickname was ‘Tortugita’ or ‘Little Turtle.’
Officials with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Teran first shot and hit a state trooper before other troopers shot and killed Teran on Wednesday as part of an operation to clear the property of illegal campers.
Officials with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia State Patrol confirmed with Atlanta News First that none of the troopers were wearing body cameras during the incident.
In fact, most GSP troopers do not wear body cameras due to the bulk of their patrolling occurs on roads, where they use their vehicle’s dash cameras for investigations.
A GSP spokesperson said only troopers at Jekyll Island and Capitol Hill wear body cameras.
The spokesperson said there were not any vehicles close enough to the incident on Wednesday to capture the shooting.
The shooting took place in a forested area where the planned public safety training center is set to be developed.
“Frankly I don’t know if I trust the story about what happened coming out with no body camera footage, no accountability. It’s terrifying that police can act with impunity and we don’t have any evidence. We don’t have anything to go on to know what happened,” said Naro.
Supporters of the Stop Cop City movement allege the person shot by law enforcement was a protestor.
On Friday, police released a picture of the gun they said was used by Teran on Wednesday.
A GBI spokesperson said a ballistics report showed the bullet that hit the trooper is the same used by the handgun found at the scene.
There is a rally planned against the building of ‘Cop City’ on Saturday at Underground Atlanta at 5 p.m.
Atlanta Police said they’re on ‘high alert’ after Wednesday’s shooting in light of a series of threats, violent in nature, made against the department.
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