Six people have been charged with domestic terrorism following violent anti-cop protests in downtown Atlanta on Saturday – with cops revealing all but one were from out of state.
Demonstrators had gathered to protest against a planned public safety training center – dubbed ‘Cop City’ – and the police shooting death of an environmental activist.
However, the protests quickly escalated, with angry rioters smashing windows and torching a police car.
Each of the suspects, aged 20 to 37, now faces four misdemeanor counts and four felony counts.
They have been identified as Nadja Geier, 24, of Nashville, Tennessee; Madeleine Feola, 22, of Spokane, Wash.; Ivan Ferguson, 22, of Nevada; Graham Evatt, 20, of Decatur, Georgia; Francis Carrol, 22, of Kennebunkport, Maine; and Emily Murphy, 37, of Grosse Isle, Michigan.
The unruly group was charged with second-degree felony damage, first-degree arson, interference with government property and domestic terrorism – all felony charges.
The misdemeanor charges include: riot, pedestrian on the roadway, willful obstruction of a law enforcement officer and unlawful assembly.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Monday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp confirmed the charges and that most of those arrested came to Atlanta from out of state.
“Only one perpetrator arrested in Saturday’s riot is from Georgia. None of those arrested in last week’s operation are from Georgia,” he said. wrote. “Law enforcement has demonstrated how quickly we have stopped those who try to import violence from other states, and we will continue to do so.”
The protests followed the fatal police shooting of environmental activist Manuel Esteban Paez Teran. The 26-year-old attorney was shot and killed last week by Georgia State Patrol soldiers who were trying to clear protesters from the construction of the Public Safety Training Center.
Teran had been asked to leave the woods on Wednesday morning, but instead fired on the soldiers, wounding a patrol officer. As a result, law enforcement returned fire and shot Teran.
After Teran’s death, furious and destructive protests swept through the city. An enraged mob took to the streets on Saturday, smashing car windows and damaging several businesses.
While the protests began peacefully, amid the chaos some rogue participants destroyed property and set a police car on fire.
“They had explosives. They set fire to a police car, they broke windows in businesses. And so our police department, along with our state and federal partners, took quick action on both blocks and brought the situation under control,” Dickens said Sunday on “Face The Nation” in a chat with a panel of mayors.
“Most of them came to our city to wreak havoc. And so, we like to support people when they do the right thing, peaceful protest is part of American freedoms, but when you are violent, we will make sure you are held accountable.