Georgia law enforcement conducts 'clearing operation' as construction begins on 'Cop City' facility

Law enforcement conducted a "clearing operation" at the site that will become Atlanta's public safety training center on Monday.

(CNN)Law enforcement in Georgia carried out a "clearing operation" on Monday at the planned site of a $90 million police training facility -- dubbed "Cop City" by opponents -- nearly three weeks after a similar operation ended with officers fatally shooting a protester.

"In an ongoing effort to ensure that the site of the future City of Atlanta Public Safety Training Center is safe and secure, the (Georgia Bureau of Investigation), along with other law enforcement partners, conducted an operation to identify people who are illegally trespassing and/or engaging in criminal activity on the property," Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Nelly Miles said in a statement. "Police made no arrests during this operation."
The operation included Atlanta Police, Georgia State Patrol and a handful of other police, fire and prosecutorial agencies.
Images of the scene showed heavily armed law enforcement officers as well as construction equipment and crews on the site.
Law enforcement and construction crews were seen on Monday at the future site of the $90 million police training facility.
The police operation is the latest effort in the controversial push to build an 85-acre law enforcement facility, replete with firing range, mock city and burn building, in a forested area of Atlanta and neighboring DeKalb County.
However, the project has faced fierce pushback from protesters, such as the group "Stop Cop City," due to its environmental impact and its further militarization of policing. Opponents have camped out at the site for months and tried to prevent construction on the site, leading to some violent clashes with police and aggressive charges of domestic terrorism.
About three weeks ago, law enforcement agencies carried out a "clearing operation" and fatally shot Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, a 26-year-old activist, who police said had shot a state trooper.
The police killing led to protests in downtown Atlanta that became destructive, according to police, as some within the crowd broke windows and attacked police vehicles.
Despite the controversy, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced last week the city and DeKalb County had reached an agreement to move forward with the police training facility. A large portion of the 385-acre land will be protected greenspace, according to the mayor.
"The city of Atlanta has the most extensive training requirements in the southeast, our training includes vital areas like de-escalation training techniques, mental health, community-oriented policing, crisis intervention training as well as civil rights history education. This training needs space and that's exactly what this training center is going to offer," Dickens said.

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