DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL) — The use of force against a protester killed at the future site of the Atlanta public safety center was reasonable, and no charges will be filed against the officers involved, a special prosecutor assigned to investigate the case said Friday.
Manual Paez Teran, who was camping in the woods in protest at the site dubbed “Cop City,” was shot and killed by state troopers conducting a clearing operation on January 18. The environmental activist was part of a group who believed the planned public safety facility would cause irreversible damage to forest land.
The case was investigated by special prosecutor George R. Christian, the district attorney pro tempore of the Mountain Circuit District Attorney’s Office.
Teran “refused to comply with the lawful commands of the Troopers” before the shooting took place, the special prosecutor said in a written statement Friday. Troopers “used a ‘less lethal’ device known as a pepperball launcher” to try to get Teran to leave a tent, Christian wrote.
Teran responded by shooting four times using a “9 mm pistol through the tent striking and seriously injuring a Georgia State Trooper,” Christian said. “Six Troopers returned fire resulting in the death of Teran.”