ATLANTA - The Atlanta Police Department held a press conference Wednesday morning to discuss "public safety and targeted attacks that occurred over the 4th of July weekend."
The press conference began with Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens describing how 8 police motorcycles were destroyed on July 1 at a police academy and special ops center for the Atlanta Police Department. Dickens confirmed that the attacks are related to the planned controversial Atlanta Public Safety Training Center and said that the group who is claiming responsibility for the attacks have said "we are vengeful wingnuts with nothing to lose."
Dickens also said the Atlanta PD and his administration supports those who wish to protest peacefully, but they will not tolerate those who are determined to commit criminal acts and will prosecute those people to the full extent of the law. Dickens described those people as "criminals hiding in the middle of peaceful protesters" and said they have notified local activists about the threat that they represent. The violent protesters were later described as "professional anarchists" who are not from the Atlanta area, but travel around the country in hopes of creating chaos.
In addition to the motorcycles that were destroyed, windows were broken out of several police vehicles at the precinct that is in charge of protecting the Atlanta BeltLine. This actually happened about an hour before the motorcycles were set on fire, and it is believed that the intention was to burn those vehicles. However, the arsonists were interrupted by an "alert citizen."
It was also revealed during the press conference that there have been at least three attacks on contractors associated with the training center. In one case, tires were flattened on a vehicle at a private residence. During another, a home was badly damaged, and another case involved graffiti.
All of these incidents occurred during a "Week of Action" by the protesters. Events during the week included rallies and a music festival which occurred without any reported incidents.
The reward for information leading to the arrests of those involved in the criminal acts listed above has been increased by Crime Stoppers to $10,000. The ATF is also offering a $5,000 reward. The incidents are being investigated by the Atlanta PD, GBI, FBI and ATF.
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