No charges filed in shooting death of Atlanta ‘Cop City’ protester

By Rich McKay

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Six Georgia state troopers will not face charges in the January shooting death of a protestor who fired at officers at the construction site of a controversial Atlanta police training center, prosecutors said on Friday.

In a 31-page summary report, a special Georgia prosecutor said Manuel Paez Teran, 26, was shot and killed by officers after he fired a gun from his tent at the planned training center. Police had ordered Teran to leave the property, the report said.

Teran, an Atlanta resident, fired four times and hit one trooper before other officers returned fire, fatally striking him, the report said.

Teran’s friends and family have disputed the account.

An attorney for Teran’s family, Brian Spears, said the family is disappointed by the decision and urged officials to release their full report, supporting documents and any existing video of the incident.

Spears has previously said an autopsy commissioned by the family showed that Teran had his hands raised when he was shot and that he was hit 57 times.

The announcement is the latest chapter in a two-year fight over an 85-acre (34.4 hectares) wooded site where the $90 million Atlanta Public Safety Training Center is being built. The property was frequently occupied by scores of protesters, who have dubbed it “Cop City.”

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which conducted the probe with the special prosecutor, said in a statement that the use of deadly force “was objectively reasonable under the circumstances of this case.”

The wounded trooper had a bullet removed from tissue near his spine, the report said.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; editing by Rami Ayyub)