Atlanta PD Releases Bodycam Footage from Deadly Jan. 18 Forest Raid

Atlanta, GA – The Atlanta Police Department released body camera footage captured during the multi-jurisdictional raid in the South River Forest that resulted in police killing Manuel ‘Tortuguita’ Paez Terán last month.

Footage from four body-worn cameras used by Atlanta Police Department (APD) officers was released Wednesday evening. APD officers were not directly involved in the shooting, which was carried out by a Georgia State Patrol SWAT team, video released Wednesday confirms.

Georgia State Patrol is not required to wear body cameras, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said no bodycam footage of the shooting exists. While none of the videos released captured images of the shooting itself, the videos reveal new details about the deadly January 18 raid.

The raid came as a response to ongoing protests against what activists have dubbed ‘Cop City.’ The $90 million, 85-acre campus, if completed, would include firing ranges and explosives testing grounds in addition to a mock city for law enforcement agencies to train in urban protest suppression methods. Since late 2021, protestors have occupied the wooded site where the facilities would be built.
Defending the Atlanta Forest: Behind the Movement to Stop Cop City [Mini-Doc]

The four videos track one group of APD officers as they move through the woods south of metro Atlanta where protestors have set up encampments.

Audio from one recording captures orders delivered over the radio instructing APD officers to check tents, confirm that they are empty, and dismantle them as they see fit.

Shortly after, another video shows police surrounding a camp site and demanding the occupants leave. After not receiving a response, police approach a tent and slash its walls, finding no one inside.

“Think they’re gonna come back now,” one officer asks while slashing the tent.


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