A critical legal battle unfolds as Atlanta seeks to overturn a ruling allowing nonresidents to participate in a controversial referendum on a police training center.

By Jordan Atwood, Nation of Change

The city of Atlanta stands at a legal crossroads, with its latest appeal to the federal court posing serious implications for the ‘Stop Cop City’ referendum. This move, aimed at overturning a lower court’s decision that allowed nonresidents to gather signatures, could potentially invalidate over 100,000 signatures already collected. At the heart of this legal tussle is a police and fire training center, the subject of heated debate and grassroots opposition.

Protesters gather downtown in opposition to the construction of Cop City

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals now holds the power to either uphold the current petition drive as legal under state law or render it void, including all signatures collected. This ruling, expected in the near future, could determine the fate of a movement that has captured national attention, reflecting the growing tensions around policing and community rights in America.

The ‘Stop Cop City’ campaign emerged as a response to plans for constructing a large police and fire training center in Atlanta. This initiative, fueled by grassroots activism, aimed to force a referendum on the contentious project. Activists and concerned citizens initiated a petition drive, embarking on a race against time to gather the requisite signatures within a 60-day period that began on June 21, 2023.

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