In just five minutes, we’ll tell you all about the Atlanta Police Foundation’s controversial plan to build the country’s largest cop training facility.

by Aditi Ramaswami, The Lever

Over the weekend, protesters gathered in Atlanta, Georgia, to mourn the police killing last Wednesday of Tortuguita, a 26-year-old environmental activist fighting the planned construction of so-called “Cop City,” the largest police and fire department training facility of its kind in the country.

stop cop city they can't kill us all banner at demonstration 2

Give us five minutes of your time in this new edition of Cheat Sheet, and we’ll explain how Atlanta arrived at this moment, and what the conflict reveals about the politics and finances of U.S. policing, land defense and environmental justice, and whose voices matter most in the discourse on resource allocation.


Activists in Atlanta, Georgia, have spent the last two years battling city officials and law enforcement over a city-approved plan to build a $90-million training center for police and firefighters, in an alleged attempt to reduce crime.

The training facility, dubbed “Cop City” by protesters, would be built on 85 acres of former plantation and prison farm land in unincorporated Dekalb County, land the Atlanta City Council voted to lease to the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF) for just $10 a year. The center is supposed to include a shooting range, a mock village complete with a fake night club and other amenities, and a park named after former first lady Michelle Obama.

Atlanta City Council greenlit the plan in 2021 on a 10-4 vote following 17 hours of public comment, the vast majority of which was in opposition to the proposal.

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