Second Cop City contractor has funding ties to project, leads destruction efforts in Weelaunee on Monday.
Escorted by multiple armed law enforcement agencies (Atlanta Police Department, DeKalb County Police Department, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Bureau of Investigations, DeKalb County DA, Georgia DA, and Georgia Department of Natural Resources), sub-contractors for the Atlanta Police Foundation’s (APF) Cop City project erected a privacy fence around a portion of the Weelaunee Forest and began clearing the area. The deforestation operation started about an hour before the family of Manuel Esteban Paez Teran (“Tortuguita”), a protestor murdered by Georgia State Patrol during a raid on January 18th, spoke out against police violence at a press conference at the DeKalb Courthouse.
Among the sub-contractors seen clearing the Weelaunee Forest yesterday was Brent Scarbrough & Co. Inc., a Newnan-based company that specializes in land clearing and site development. Featured as one of Atlanta’s top CEOs in 2020, Scarbrough has held multiple contracts with the City of Atlanta (COA) including an October 2022, a $713,156.10 contract with COA Department of Aviation. The company’s website, which lists projects for which they currently hold contracts, does not list the Cop City project.
The Atlanta Police Foundation’s (APF) decision to hire Brent Scarbrough & Co. seems hardly random. A review of the APF donors for the third quarter of the 2022 fiscal year shows that Brent Scarbrough & Co. donated $100,000 to APF’s Cop City fundraising efforts, alongside donors such as the Arthur Blank Foundation, NCR, Deluxe, and the McCamish group. Scarbrough donation history extends to election campaigns as well, including 2021 and 2022 donations to the Kemp gubernatorial campaign.
Brent Scarbrough & Co. is not the first donor to the APF contracted to build Cop City.Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC, the general contractor hired by APF for Cop City, donated $1,000,000 to the APF’s fundraising efforts. In 2021 they were brought onto the project to act as its general contractor.
The emerging pattern in which companies who donate to the APF are remunerated with lucrative contracts further exposes the Cop City project as a complex network of backroom deals, corporate interests, and the armed and deadly law enforcement agencies that protect these dealings from widespread dissent. The lack of transparency in the contract bidding process for a project that claims to be for the benefit of the community only continues to highlight these concerns. It remains to be seen if or how many other APF donors will financially benefit from the Cop City project.
When the Atlanta Community Press Collective reached out to Brent Scarbrough & Co. before the publication of this article they declined to provide comment.