YARBROUGH COLUMN: Attorney General Carr out to stop police training center violence

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Georgia’s Attorney General Chris Carr is neither a RINO (Republican in Name Only) nor a RITNO (Republican in Trump’s Name Only.) His solid conservative credentials mirror those of our late U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, which is appropriate since he once served as Isakson’s chief of staff in Washington.

He is about to lay the wood to a bunch of creeps who are doing their best to turn Atlanta into a mobocracy like Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, where the inmates seem to be running the asylum.

As we speak, the AG has indicted 61 people on charges of violating the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization’s (RICO) Act due to their thuggish tactics in trying to prevent the construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, which they have labeled Cop City. That is a misnomer since the center would train fire fighters and EMS personnel, as well.

The 61 defendants were indicted in Fulton County on Aug. 29th. Next comes warrants from Fulton County Superior Court for all of the defendants who are then considered wanted. Some defendants may turn themselves in while others will likely be arrested and the extradition process will then begin.

Of particular note is that of the 61 protesters indicted, only 13 are from Georgia. The other 48 hail from 24 other states as well as from Canada and France. Most are in their 20’s. They claim they are trying to save the trees on the construction site. They do this by trespassing, chaining themselves to trees and destroying equipment being used by developers.

They also claim the training center is where “police will be trained on how to inflict militant violence on their communities.” 

Give them credit for knowing something about militant violence. The attorney general’s office cites some 225 incidents in which the defendants are alleged to have worked together to prevent the construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center.

These include throwing a Molotov cocktail through the window of the Department of Public Safety and catching the building on fire; throwing Molotov cocktails at police officers; cutting the safety rope of an arborist on site; damaging and destroying the property of contractors and construction workers in Georgia and a number of other states as well as showing up at their homes. The financial impact is estimated between $30 and $50 million.

If I find this crowd guilty of anything, it is hyperbole. They claim the training center will be the largest in the U.S. The Police Foundation points out that Reno, NV, and Meridian, MS. facilities are larger. They says Blackhawk helicopters will be on site. The City of Atlanta owns no Blackhawks. Same with tanks.

Cop City opponents say 400 acres of forest will be destroyed while the city says the center will sit on 85 acres and the rest of the 300-plus acres will be protected. All a bunch of poppycock, but why spoil a good misguided protest?

The Stop Cop City crowd did take time out from tossing Molotov cocktails at the police to rally in support of Palestine. “Fight for the freedom of Palestine and the end of the U.S. war machine, imperialism and colonialism all over the world”’ said Mariah Parker, a former Athens-Clarke County Commissioner who recently decamped in Atlanta. I guess she couldn’t get tickets to home football games.

Leading the opposition to the training center is Stacey Abram’s New Georgia Project. After the Atlanta City Council voted to move forward with funding the training center, the group issued a statement saying in part, “In a healthy democracy, there should always be room for public debate, for protest and for residents’ concerns to be taken seriously by their elected officials.” Are they condoning the kind of violent behavior being shown by protestors?

After Attorney General Carr issued the RICO indictments, including 15 counts of money laundering, Stop Cop City tweeted that their right of free speech was being infringed upon. 

Carr responded, “We all have a First Amendment right to peacefully protest. But protesters use words. Violence is not speech. Violence is not protected by the First Amendment. This entire indictment when you look at it is about those that engaged in violence.” Amen.

As for me, this bunch of nihilistic nuts make the perfect case for why defunding the police is not only a bad idea, it is a dangerous idea. I applaud Georgia Atty. Gen. Chris Carr for reining them in along with their terroristic tactics and bully behavior. You should, too.