1,300 Social Justice Groups Demand Atlanta Mayor Resign Over Tortuguita’s Death

His “lack of intervention in defending Atlanta protestors and residents led on to the deadly raid,” they stated.

Over 1,300 local weather, justice and neighborhood teams are calling for Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens to resign over the police killing of anti-“Cop Metropolis” activist Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán on January 18, issuing a powerful rebuke to Dickens for his refusal to even condemn the killing.

Of their letter, the teams stated that Dickens has stood firmly on the aspect of legislation enforcement as Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has despatched within the Nationwide Guard to crack down on protests in a continued escalation of the violence and threats of violence in opposition to protesters.

“Mayor Dickens has stood by as police violence and rhetoric in direction of protestors has steadily ratcheted up, together with the usage of chemical brokers and militarized raids on small teams of protestors engaged in civil disobedience,” the letter reads. “Lower than a month in the past, Atlanta Metropolis Council members and activists rang the alarm in regards to the risks of escalated police violence after an aggressive raid on peaceable protestors on December thirteenth. Moderately than use this as a chance to pay attention or reverse course, Dickens ignored the issues of council members and his personal constituents.”

“Mayor Dickens’ lack of intervention in defending Atlanta protestors and residents led on to the deadly raid,” the teams continued.

The letter was signed by teams like local weather justice coalition Individuals Vs. Fossil Fuels in addition to native, Indigenous and abolitionist teams.

The teams wrote that Dickens has not solely parroted Kemp’s and legislation enforcement’s speaking factors and narratives on the killing, which activists have questioned, however has additionally refused to show primary respect to the protesters. Although it has been practically two weeks since Tortuguita’s killing, Dickens has not supplied condolences to their household, the letter factors out — however simply hours after the killing, he tweeted in help of the police officer who was allegedly injured in the course of the raid of the activists’ camp.

Dickens, a Democrat, has frequently supported and championed “Cop Metropolis,” a proposal to raze practically 100 acres of forest in Southeast Atlanta to construct an intensely militarized police coaching facility, despite the vast quantity of neighborhood opposition and the menace that the venture is already posing to the general public.

He was one of 10 metropolis councilors who voted in favor of leasing land to construct “Cop Metropolis” earlier than he grew to become mayor and has not come out in opposition to the domestic terrorism charges lobbed in opposition to protesters over what seems to be nothing greater than alleged trespassing prices — prices that specialists say are baseless. Additional, Dickens has disparaged folks protesting in Atlanta after Tortuguita’s killing and stated that protests like these and those of the Movement for Black Lives in 2020 are proof that policing should improve.

“Mayor Dickens can by some means discover $90 million {dollars} for cop metropolis, one third of which will come from tax payer cash. Nonetheless, he can’t discover cash to maintain our already overwhelmed hospitals open or to finance much-needed inexpensive housing,” the teams wrote. “The proof is obvious: we not believe in Dicken’s capability to manipulate the Metropolis of Atlanta.”

The letter additionally requires Dickens to terminate the forest lease, and for an independent investigation into Tortuguita’s killing, separate from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s probe, which has ties to the Atlanta Police Division — the identical division concerned within the killing.

“Local weather justice and police brutality are interconnected, which is why we’re becoming a member of the Cease Cop Metropolis calls to motion with the frontline communities in Atlanta,” ikiyA collective, a member of Individuals Vs. Fossil Fuels’s steering committee, stated in a statement. “It’s crucial that we demand an impartial investigation into the police homicide of Manuel ‘Tortuguita’ Paez Terán.”