ATLANTA - Activists opposed to the construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center they have notoriously referred to as "cop city" organized a town hall Saturday night to start a dialogue about policing alternatives and climate justice.
FOX 5's camera was not allowed in the room, but some individuals who joined the meeting shared their next moves for the city determined to build.
"It’s really awful that the City of Atlanta is moving forward with the project that is clearly not something that the people want and is clearly undemocratic," said Gabriel Sanchez.
Activists said their fight against the facility is far from over.
Atlanta police recently released four clips from body camera video of the training site shooting that killed 26-year-old activist Manuel Teran and injured a Georgia State Patrol trooper. It is important to note the video didn't visually show the shooting, but a barrage of bullets can be heard clearly.
"It caused a lot of grief," Ella Johanver, another opponent to construction, told FOX 5.
Opponents of the project claim the footage shows one officer speculating to another that the trooper was hit by friendly fire. They say that moment has fueled their skepticism of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's (GBI) version of events.
"I know that there needs to be more investigation and not the police investigating themselves," Johanver said.
DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces she will recuse herself from the case involving the death of 26-year-old Manuel Esteban Paez Teran at the so-called "Cop City" last week. (FOX 5)
Still, the GBI has stood by its initial narrative and its involvement in the investigation. Even despite Dekalb County’s District Attorney Sherry Boston recusing herself.
"We have seen this process be undemocratic the entire way, there was over 16 hours of public comment that was against cop city that the city council chose to ignore," an opposer who only identified herself as Kate told FOX 5.
Saturday’s town hall was held at the Park Avenue Baptist Church in the Grant Park neighborhood. Organizers acknowledged that they faced an increasingly uphill battle in stopping construction. They say their resolve is unwavering regardless of the circumstances.
"We’re not going to stop," Kate said. "They’re going to try to push it through, and we’re going to continue pushing back because the lives our community members are at stake."
"If they want to show that this cop said he is supposedly popular and good for the people, then they should prove it with a referendum on ‘Cop City until the City of Atlanta residents vote on whether they want ’Cop City' or not," Sanchez said.
Atlanta City Council already gave the greenlight on construction. City officials would have to take a step backward in order to make something like that happen.
The GBI says its investigation into Teran's death could take two to three months before being handed over to a special prosecutor.