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UPI: Georgia state troopers who shot, killed ‘Cop City’ protester won’t face charges

Tortuguita Memorial
Tortuguita Memorial at entrance to Weelaunee Forest Photo: Don Kimball

On October 6, 2023, Patrick Hilsman article Georgia state troopers who shot, killed ‘Cop City’ protester won’t face charges appeared on the UPI (United Press International) website.

The article reports that a Georgia court has ruled that state troopers who shot and killed Cop City protester Manuel Teran won’t face charges.

The article states that Manuel Teran, known as “Tortuguita”, was killed on January 18, 2023, when Georgia State Patrol troopers raided an activist campsite near the construction site for Cop City. Investigators had said Teran refused to leave the area and troopers fired “sublethal” rounds of ammunition at Teran’s tent. Teran had 57 bullet wounds, including entry and exit wounds.

The article also states how investigators say Teran had fired on officers, which does not align with an autopsy ordered by Teran’s relatives that showed Teran had their hands raised at the time of the shooting and did not have gunshot residue on their hands. There is also no body camera footage of the fatal shooting.

DA pro tempore for Stone Mountain’s Judicial Circuit Court, George R. Christian, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution “no criminal charges will be brought against the Georgia State Patrol Troopers involved in the shooting of Manuel Paez Teran” and that  “The use of lethal (deadly) force by the Georgia State Patrol was objectively reasonable,”.

In April 2023, U.S. House members sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and FBI Director Chris Wray demanding answers on the police response to the protests.

The article can be read in full on the UPI (United Press International) website.


Additional Information:

Take Action: Sign on to GJEP’s letter to demand Justice for Tortuguita! Stop the Assassination of Land Defenders! This sign on letter was originally submitted to on May Day (May 1, 2023) to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr and US Attorney General Merrick Garland. We are continuing to collect signatures. 

Note: The August 2023 episode of The Breaking Green Podcast, Muzzling Dissent and COP City with Basav Sen and Gabrielle Colchete, can be heard here.  The Breaking Green Podcast is produced by GJEP.

Website (external to GJEP): Block Cop City

October 2023: 

  • Georgia state troopers who shot, killed ‘Cop City’ protester won’t face charges (Patrick Hilsman, Oct 6, 2023, UPI News)

September 2023: 

  • ATLANTA MAYOR DISMISSES COP CITY REFERENDUM AS “NOT AN ELECTION” (Prem Thakker, September 27, 2023, The Intercept)
  • Watershed moment’: activists speak out about ‘Cop City’ conspiracy charges (September 25, 2023, Timothy Pratt, The Guardian
  • The Racketeering of State Violence (Ray Acheson, Sept 20, 2023,  Counterpunch)
  • Cop City Indictments Threaten Press Freedom Too (Seth Stern, September 11, 2023, The Intercept)
  • Cop City activists charged with racketeering (Timothy Pratt, September 7, 2023, The Guardian)
  •  In bringing RICO charges against ‘Cop City’ protesters, Georgia criminalizes dissent (John Ruch, Sept 7. 2023,  MSNBC)
  • Defying RICO Indictment, Faith Leaders Chain Themselves to Bulldozer to Stop Cop City (Natasha Lennard, September 7, 2023 The Intercept
  • ‘Alarming and absurd’: concern as ‘Cop City’ activists charged with racketeering (Timothy Pratt, September 7, 2023, The Guardian)

August 2023:

  • ‘Cop City’: civil rights groups urge US to investigate surveillance of protesters (Timothy Pratt, August 3, 2023, The Guardian)

July 2023:

  • In These Times: Cop City and the Escalating War on Environmental Defenders (Basav Sen and Gebrielle Colchete, July 13, 2023, In These Times article)

June 2023:

  • The Chris Hedges Report Podcast with former Chicago Tribune reporter and author Will Potter on how terrorism laws are used to criminalize social and political activism and construct a police state (June 7, 2023, The Chris Hedges Report)

May 2023:

  • Activists face felonies for distributing flyers on “Cop City” protester killing (Natasha Lennard & Akela Lacy, May 2 2023, The Intercept)
  • Press Release: Sign on Letter Demands Justice for Forest Defender Killed by Police near Atlanta (May 2 2023, GJEP)

April 2023:

  • Police Shot Atlanta Cop City Protester 57 Times, Autopsy Finds (Natasha Lennard, April 20 2023, The Intercept)

March 2023:

  • Sign on letter to demand justice for Manuel Paez Teran, known as Tortuguita, who was killed by police in a hail of gunfire during a protest in a forest near Atlanta on 17 January 2023 (GJEP)
  • BEATEN, BOMBED AND BURIED  The decades-long persecution of Forest Defenders (Don Kimball, March 17 2023, Special exclusive report for GJEP)


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