ATLANTA (AP) — The use of deadly force by Georgia state troopers who shot and killed an activist at the site of a planned police and firefighter training center near Atlanta was “objectively reasonable” and no charges will be sought against them, a prosecutor said Friday.
Opponents, who derisively refer to the planned center as “Cop City,” had occupied an 85-acre (34-hectare) tract of forest that is being developed for the massive facility. It is there that Manuel Paez Teran was killed.
Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Christian announced his decision not to pursue charges in a news release. He was appointed to review the Georgia Bureau of Investigation file on the Jan. 18 shooting of Paez Terán after DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston recused herself from the case.
State troopers were part of an “enforcement operation” at the site when they encountered Paez Terán, who was known as Tortuguita. When the activist refused to come out of a tent, the troopers fired a pepperball launcher and Paez Terán responded by firing a handgun four times through the tent, hitting and seriously wounding a trooper, the release says. Six troopers fired back, killing Paez Terán.