In Atlanta, city officials have refused to process thousands of signatures on a petition aimed at stopping the construction of a police training facility on the city’s outskirts.
As ABC News reports, the petition was submitted on Monday by a group of far-left activists, who claimed to have accumulated at least 116,000 signatures from Atlanta residents. But officials pointed to a recent court order that forbids them from going through with the official verification process due to the petition’s organizers missing an August 21st deadline. Although a federal judge had extended the deadline to September, an appellate court ordered on September 1st to halt the enforcement of the deadline extension.
The anti-police coalition, the Vote to Stop Cop City Coalition, released a statement following the city’s decision condemning the mayor and city workers.
“This is yet another disgraceful push by the city to stonewall democracy, showing that Mayor (Andre) Dickens and the City of Atlanta fear the power of their constituents,” the coalition’s statement read in part. “The City was notified on Thursday of our intention to submit, yet was too cowardly to release any response, or even respond to our email, until after we arrived.”
In response, a city attorney said that the city is simply waiting for a decision from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which will determine whether or not the deadline extension was legal.
“The city is not in a position, does not have discretion, to choose to accept the petitions today, at least not to start the 50-day (verification) clock,” said attorney Robert Ashe.
At the center of the controversy is the under-construction Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, which has been dubbed “Cop City” by its critics. The construction site has been the target of numerous riots and coordinated attacks by far-left domestic terrorist groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter, which has led to many arrests. Earlier this year, one such riot ultimately led to a rioter opening fire on the police, only to be gunned down in response.
Last week, Fulton County officials indicted over 60 rioters on RICO charges over their coordinated out-of-state efforts to attack the site.