Atlanta, GA — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, in collaboration with several other law enforcement agencies, charged 23 more people with ‘domestic terrorism’ for their alleged involvement in the ongoing effort to stop ‘Cop City’ and to defend the Weelaunee Forest in unincorporated DeKalb County southeast of Atlanta. This brings the total number of ‘Cop City’ opponents charged under the statute to 42.
Warrants are available to read below. Unicorn Riot has currently only been able to obtain 10 of the 23 domestic terrorism warrants stemming from the March 5 arrests. The filings are nearly identical and appear to have been copy/pasted:
Warrant 1 | Warrant 2 | Warrant 3 | Warrant 4 | Warrant 5 | Warrant 6 | Warrant 7 | Warrant 8 | Warrant 9 | Warrant 10
Most of those arrested are currently being held at the DeKalb County Jail after being denied bond by Magistrate Judge Anna Watkins Davis on March 7. Four arrestees, including attorney Thomas Jurgens, have been granted bond. Jurgens was released on the day of the bond hearing, while the other three defendants were granted bond only after spending roughly two weeks in jail. The remaining defendants will likely be held in the jail at least until their bond hearing in DeKalb County Superior Court, which is currently scheduled for 9 a.m. on March 23 before Judge Gregory A. Adams.
Judge A. W. Davis, who denied bond to nearly every defendant, appears to have a family connection to a firm tied into the ‘Cop City’ project leadership, which is possibly a conflict of interest. Publicly available records indicate she is married to a Principal tax attorney at KPMG, an international accounting mega-firm with four representatives on the board of the Atlanta Police Foundation, the private nonprofit rushing to build ‘Cop City’ despite the project’s questionable legal status.
Three other individuals previously charged with domestic terrorism for their participation in the movement have been held in custody for nearly two months after being denied bond following their arrest on January 21. One additional defendant, who had also been incarcerated since January 21, was granted bond on March 20.
Arrests at Forest Festival
The arrests on March 5 occurred in the midst of the South River Music Festival in the Weelaunee Forest, which was scheduled as part of a “week of action” against the construction of ‘Cop City.’ It appears that police attacked the festival in response to a mass act of sabotage on construction equipment and police infrastructure that occurred about an hour earlier in the day and nearly a mile away.
Matthew Johnson, Interim Executive Director of Beloved Commune, a faith-based social justice nonprofit in Atlanta, was at the welcome table in the Weelaunee People’s Park when he noticed police start to enter the area. “Georgia State Patrol started to come in with long rifles,” he said. Johnson started to move toward the festival.