SPLC Lawyer Arrested, Charged With Domestic Terrorism Over Atlanta Antifa Riot

Tom Jurgens, a staff lawyer for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), was arrested and charged with domestic terrorism following an Antifa assault on a proposed police training facility in Atlanta.

Over the weekend, far-left agitators changed into black clothing and threw large rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks at police officers at the proposed police facility just south of the city dubbed “Cop City.” The site is currently part of an 85-acre project in Dekalb County’s South River Forest.

Protesters against the site grew violent following a concert that took place in a “nearby section of the forest,” according to police and local media.

“Music is not a crime, protest is not a crime. The first amendment doesn’t go away when a single person sets a fire,” the Atlanta Solidarity Fund tweeted after the violent situation.

“We continue to see a number of individuals not from Atlanta, Georgia, that are present tonight undertaking criminal activities to destabilize the construction of a fire and police training center,” said Atlanta police chief Darin Schierbaum.

Tensions between the Atlanta Police department and far-left protestors began when critics of the proposed site sought to preserve the forest where it would be located.

After a protester named Manuel Esteban Paez Teran shot at a police officer in January, prompting a shootout with law enforcement officers that resulted in his demise,

In January, one of the climate activists, Manuel Esteban Paez Terán (“Tortuguita”), was killed during a violent confrontation with local police seeking to remove protesters. Terán reportedly shot at an officer, prompting law enforcement to return fire and kill him.

Shortly after Teran died in an apparent effort to kill a police officer, “environmental activists, including members of Antifa, descended on Atlanta, shattering windows, destroying a police car, and vandalizing property,” local media reports.

“Violence and unlawful destruction of property are not acts of protest. They are crimes that will not be tolerated in Georgia and will be prosecuted fully,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp tweeted at the time.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @whiteaf5.

This news and commentary by Andrew White originally appeared on Valiant News.

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