Activists Arrested In Atlanta Solidarity Fund
Activists Arrested In Atlanta Solidarity Fund

Arrests Made As Activists Linked To ‘Cop City’ Bailout Fund Face Charges

Police detained three Atlanta organizers on Wednesday for supporting demonstrators opposed to the city’s planned police and fire training facility, which opponents have mockingly dubbed “Cop City.”

The Atlanta Solidarity Fund, which has bailed out protesters and assisted them in finding attorneys, said three of its leaders had been taken into custody by Atlanta police and its agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Marlon Scott Kautz, 39, of Atlanta, Savannah D. Patterson, 30, of Savannah, and Adele MacLean, 42, of Atlanta are accused of money laundering and charity fraud.

Authorities in the state claimed to have discovered evidence connecting all three to financial crimes. A house owned by Kautz and MacLean east of downtown Atlanta covered in anti-police graffiti was the target of police executions on Wednesday morning.

The three activists’ attorney, Don Samuel, stated Wednesday afternoon that he had not yet seen the arrest warrants and was attempting to ascertain the basis for the accusations.

“I know what the crimes are that are alleged, but I don’t know exactly what the state’s alleging these three people did or how they supposedly engaged in charity fraud,” he said.

Activists Arrested In Atlanta Solidarity Fund

The prosecution, the three will probably make their initial court appearances on Thursday.

The CEO, CFO, and Secretary of the Network for Strong Communities, incorporated in 2020 and manages the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, are MacLean, Kautz, and Patterson.

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The Civil Liberties Defense Center’s executive director, Lauren Regan, described the arrests as an “extreme provocation” in a statement.

“Bailing out protestors who exercise their constitutionally protected rights is simply not a crime,” Regan declared. “In fact, it is a historically grounded tradition in the very same social and political movements that the city of Atlanta prides itself on. Someone had to bail out civil rights activists in the 60’s — I think we can all agree that community support isn’t a crime,”

Since authorities removing protesters from their camp in South River Forest fatally shot an environmental activist in January, more than 40 people have been charged with domestic terrorism concerning demonstrations against the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center.

This cause has drawn attention from all over the world. Officials claim that after the protester shot a trooper, the officers retaliated by firing. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting a probe.

In a statement from February, Kautz himself foresaw that investigators were attempting to use Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law to establish a criminal case against protesters.

That law enables prosecutors to file charges against multiple defendants who are thought to have committed different crimes while engaged in cooperative behavior.

RICO is a felony with severe punishments: a sentence of five to twenty years in pr!son; a fine of $25,000 or three times the amount made from the crime, whichever is higher; or both.

“This is targeting of organizers and movements by the police and the state,” In a statement, Community Movement Builders’ Kamau Franklin said “Bail funds have been a part of organizing the Civil Rights movement and labor movement. We will continue to fight back against cop city and the political arrest of our friends and comrades.”

Following the arrests, Governor Brian Kemp declared that the state would “track down every member of a criminal organization, from violent foot soldiers to their uncaring leaders.”

As the Republican claimed, “these criminals facilitated and encouraged domestic terrorism with no regard for others, watching as communities faced the destructive consequences of their actions.” “Here in Georgia, we do not allow that to happen.”

Republican Chris Carr, the attorney general of Georgia, vowed to “not rest until we have held accountable every person who has funded, organized, or participated in this violence and intimidation.”

Activists nationwide have joined the protest movement, claiming that the 85-acre (34-hectare) facility would train police to become more militarized and suppress dissent. At the same time, hundreds of trees are felled, worsening flooding and climate change.

A state-of-the-art campus would replace subpar offerings and improve police morale, the Atlanta City Council approved the training center in 2021.

This was done in response to the violent nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice in the summer of 2020, which led to hiring and retention issues for the police force.

With a commitment to pay $67 million over time, the city has given the private Atlanta Police Foundation the job of constructing the complex.

The remaining $90 million of the complex would be paid for with private funds. The complex is expected to be finished in 2024; foundation work is still being done.

This story’s earlier version was updated to reflect that one arrestee’s last name should have been Adele MacLean, not Adele Maclean.

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About Lionel Holmes 1849 Articles
Lionel Holmes is a journalism graduate with keen interest in covering Technology  news – specifically startups. He has as a keen eye for technologies and has predicted quite a few successful startups over the last couple of years. Lionel goal with this website is to report accurately on all kinds of stock news, and have a great deal of passion for Finance and active reporting. Lionel is diligent and proactive when it comes to Technology news reporting.

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