Cop City body camera footage suggests police shot officer

State of Georgia Last month, a protester was shot dead in a local forest in Atlanta during ongoing protests to stop the construction of a police training facility. During the joint operation by local and state law enforcement agencies, a state trooper was also reportedly shot in the groin.

“You fucked your officer.”

Police quickly established a narrative that caught on in the media: As police moved in to clear the protest camp at the planned facility, which protesters called “Cop City,” soldiers were fired upon and hit.

In response, police said, officers shot and killed 26-year-old Manuel Terran, a protester named Tortugueta. An independent autopsy released Friday found Terran was shot at least 13 times. Police said forensics showed the round matched a gun found nearby, which Terran bought.

Evidence of killings is scant: State troopers, who are directly involved in killings, do not usually wear body cameras. And Atlanta police, whose officers were nearby, did, with the department saying in an initial statement on Jan. 20 that no footage from the operation would be released pending an ongoing investigation.

On Wednesday night, however, the department reversed itself and released body camera video shortly after the incident. Footage shows officers asking if the state trooper who was shot was one of his own.

In footage released Wednesday, an Atlanta Police Department officer can be heard saying, “You fucked your own officer.” He later approached two other officers and asked, “They shoot their own men?”

An Atlanta Police Department spokeswoman referred questions to their website and referred them for further investigation to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, a statewide law enforcement agency that was involved in the raid and is conducting a joint investigation into the shooting. A spokesman for the Georgia Department of Public Safety also referred questions to the GBI, which did not immediately respond to a request.

The shooting occurred while opposing Cop City, a massive $90 million training facility near Atlanta set to surpass the local area’s largest patches of green. During the operation, a growing coalition of protesters, calling themselves foresters, successfully blocked any progress toward construction of the facility.

After the fatal raid, the initial GBI report stated that Terran did not comply with officers’ commands and shot and killed the trooper during a “clearing operation.” Terran’s mother said she doesn’t believe they shot an officer.

After immediately saying there was no body camera footage of the shooting, the GBI publicly acknowledged five days later that there was footage of the aftermath of the shooting.