September 14th Reportback

On the morning of September 14th at approximately 9:30am, ten to twenty Atlanta Police Department officers escorted a charter bus into the grounds of the old city of Atlanta landfill on the opposite side of Key Rd., across from the old prison farm gate. The charter bus appeared to have a number of individuals in their business-casual best. These individuals are likely Atlanta Police Foundation board members, donors, and other “important” Atlanta politicos. They were overheard making short speeches over a loudspeaker followed by clapping and cheering. A member of APD’s leadership team was also seen holding a small tripod with a camera attached.

To us, this sounds like some sort of “groundbreaking” or other celebratory gathering – perhaps the issuing of permits. The one year anniversary of Atlanta City Council passing the legislation that authorized the lease agreement also recently passed on September 8th.

Other upcoming deadlines that the gathering could have been in celebration of include the re-submission of a revised Land Development Permit to DeKalb County, or the 100% completion of constriction drawings for building permits. The latter milestone was slated to be completed on August 9th, but the project has faced constantly delays and is significantly behind schedule. The most current timeline information is from an email dated August 5th, 2022:

July 5
LDP Re-submittal (awaiting approval)
August 15
Anticipated Building Permit Submittal (sic)
August – December
Erosion Control
Land clearing /Land prep
Sitework (grading and utilities)
Foundation work
Jan ’23
Vertical Construction
Nov ‘ 23
Grand Opening

The entire set of emails can be found here on our DocumentCloud.

Whatever the APF was celebrating and filming, it will surely make its way to the public via propaganda from the APF sooner than later; we will not be fooled.

Atlanta Police also attempted to enter the woods to hunt down protesters like they did last week, but were deterred by a spontaneous tire fire in one of the many piles of tires that have been irresponsibly dumped on the prison farm over the decades, a practice which the city of Atlanta has long turned a blind eye to.

It is unlikely that the donors and dignitaries gathered across the street on the austere grounds of the old city landfill could not turn a blind eye to the large plume of black smoke rising from across the street.

Per reports from local residents, Atlanta Police also turned away local journalists. Two representatives of Atlanta NPR affiliate WABE were reportedly told that the spontaneous tire fire was a “controlled burn”. Police scanner audio provided to ACPC contradicts this statement. Forest defenders observing the situation immediately corrected the information that was given to WABE; ACPC has also reached out.

In this audio, you can hear Atlanta Police asking for the DeKalb County Fire Department to respond and explicitly stating that “protesters” set the fire.

A call from Atlanta Police Department radio, transmitted at approximately 9:28am on September 14, 2022. Transcript provided below.

APD Officer:[Unit number] 9111 to radio
APD Radio Dispatcher: 9111.
Unit 9111: Sign me on, 3554, thirty-five fifty-four, and can you hold me at 1327 Key Road, I’ll be out at the new site for…the uh, academy, and if you can, notify DeKalb Fire [Department] that we have some individuals in the woods that have started a fire if they could start DeKalb Fire out to this location.
Radio: Okay, you advised you had what in the woods?
Unit 9111: We have, uh, some protesters in the woods that has started a fire and we need DeKalb Fire out here.
Radio: Okay, received.

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