Georgia Police Under Scrutiny

( – An activist named Paez Terán was killed by Georgia police after a gun battle and the state is now refusing to release the evidence from the case to the public. George Christian, the district attorney in charge of the case, released a 31-page report about the shooting earlier in the month. The report concluded that the shooting of Terán was justified based on the circumstances.

Terán was an activist in opposition to Georgia’s planned “Cop City” development. That term refers to a soon-to-be-built large-scale training facility for police and fire department training. Activists have been trying to stop it for months.

Terán was part of a small group calling themselves “forest defenders” who were camping in a public park in protest. They chose that location because it was near the area of the forest scheduled to be taken down for the facility to be built. Officers from several agencies conducted a raid on the park to clear it out when they say Terán opened fire on them. They returned fire hitting Terán nearly 60 times and killing him almost instantly.

Terán, who used they/them pronouns, also went by the alias “Tortuguita”, and he allegedly wounded one officer prior to being killed. He’d been staying the park intermittently for several months in an attempt to stop construction on the $90 million “Cop City” project. His family and other activists are crying foul that the Georgia bureau of investigation (GBI), has declined to release any evidence from the shooting including photos, video or lab reports.

The GBI maintains there is an ongoing RICO investigation of other individuals which precludes them from releasing information relating to the GBI case. A RICO case alleges a conspiracy of multiple individuals and it’s speculated that the GBI and other authorities are looking at charging as many as 61 individuals related to activity around the “Cop City” project. RICO cases can take years to complete and will likely put the Terán family outside the two-year statute of limitations they have to take legal action related to the shooting.

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