Atlanta’s Antifa protesters declared a “Night of Rage” on Friday after one of their own fired on a Georgia State Trooper Wednesday and was killed when officers returned fire.
And while Friday night turned into a dud, protests turned violent on Saturday as a police car was burned and several windows destroyed. Six protesters were reportedly arrested as law enforcement stifled the violent demonstration.
For months there has been a showdown between Antifa protesters and officials at a wooded area in DeKalb County. This site is where authorities plan to create a public safety training center or, as the leftist radicals prefer, “Cop City.”
The location has been the scene of several acts of vandalism as demonstrators attempt to disrupt attempts to turn the former prison farm into a law enforcement facility.
The #AtlantaRiots are a direct result of #BlackLivesMatter — the organization — which just enriched a few people who now live in mansions worth millions. Also culpable? @VP who actively raised money to get violent rioters out of jail. https://t.co/yF3MnkBYGB
— Joe Pags Pagliarulo (@JoeTalkShow) January 22, 2023
The standoff came to a head Wednesday when officers conducted a sweep at Intrenchment Creek Park. It was then that police say 26-year-old Manuel Esteban Paez Teran fired on officers, striking one. The officer survived but had to undergo surgery at an Atlanta hospital.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) reported finding roughly 25 campsites at the location along with “mortar-style fireworks, multiple-edged weapons, pellet rifles, gas masks, and a blow torch.”
After the shooting, seven protesters were arrested for “domestic terrorism and criminal trespass.”
The GBI issued a press release describing the handgun used to attack the officer as “a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm.” The agency noted that forensic ballistic analysis matched the firearm to the bullet recovered from the trooper’s wound.
As for the so-called “Night of Rage,” it turned into candlelight vigils held in multiple cities, including Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, Seattle, and others.
According to Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum, Saturday’s demonstration began peacefully at Underground Atlanta. However, he said a smaller group within the marching crowd began “breaking windows and attacking police cruisers.”
Schierbaum said some of the instigators were known actors who were involved in other area protests.
Peaceful protest is as American as apple pie, but lines are drawn when violence and destruction begin. And when Antifa radicals are involved, irrational acts described as “mostly peaceful” are never far away.