‘Cop City’ Panel Member Posted Slurs Online, Archived Tweets Indicate
Atlanta, GA — Mayor Andre Dickens recently announced a new ‘Community Task Force’ in an apparent effort to appear open to community dialogue around the increasingly unpopular and environmentally-harmful proposed police training center nicknamed ‘Cop City.’ The new panel was launched in March 2023 after another similar entity, the ‘Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee,’ faced controversy from alleged conflicts of interest and misconduct.
As public opposition continues to mount against the paramilitary Atlanta Public Safety Training Center pushed by the private corporate-funded Atlanta Police Foundation, new information emerges indicating that a member of Mayor Dickens’ new ‘Cop City’ Task Force has made social media posts promoting racism, homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny.
Content Advisory: Bigoted Speech
Michael Blake Fortune II is “a Partner and Chief Compliance Officer at Hamilton Capital Partners,” which describes itself as an “investment advisory firm specializing in forward-thinking asset management solutions,” according to its website. His online presence sometimes uses the names M. Blake Fortune II or just Blake Fortune.
Meeting records for what Mayor Dickens established as the ‘South River Forest and Public Safety Training Center Community Task Force’ list Fortune as appointed to the ‘Atlanta Prison Farm Site Subgroup’ as a “Community Member.”
In recent weeks, Atlanta-area activists and researchers shared screenshots from tweets and Facebook posts apparently written by Fortune showing him using racist, homophobic and sexist slurs.
Unicorn Riot could not verify the authenticity of a Facebook screenshot that shows Fortune using the N-word, as his Facebook post history is now set to private. A tweet in which he called Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff a “p-ssy” could also not be verified as Fortune’s Twitter appears to have been recently deleted or otherwise taken offline.
However, Unicorn Riot has been able to verify the authenticity of three tweets sent from the @blake_Fortune Twitter account that refer to gay people as “f-gg-t” and a nonbinary person as a “c-nt.” These tweets as well as several others were saved in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, which allows the preservation of the contents of webpage URLs and has been ruled a source of admissible evidence in several U.S. courts.
The now-offline Twitter account is most likely authentic as the profile picture showing Fortune with his wife matches with other publicly available photos of the couple. Archived tweets from the account also corroborate publicly verifiable details about his family history and match up with information posted by Fortune to his LinkedIn profile.
In a May 7, 2018 tweet saved in the Wayback Machine, the Blake Fortune Twitter account wrote that former CNN anchor Don Lemon, who is openly gay, “looks like a f-g.”
Another archived tweet from June 6, 2018 shows how the Blake Fortune Twitter profile replied with additional homophobic vitriol to a tweet by Don Lemon that criticized Donald Trump, writing “F-gg-t or f-gg-t? I’ll take D. For F-gg-t.”
On April 22, 2018, the Twitter account showing Fortune in its profile picture wrote “good morning c-nt” in a reply to a tweet by podcast host Leslie Rising (who uses they/them pronouns) that said “good morning to everyone except cops and troops,” Wayback Machine data shows.
Another archived tweet sent from the Blake Fortune Twitter account on July 26, 2018 shows a proclivity for sexist language, bemoaning the use of the hashtag #NationalInternDay while complaining that “there’s something else for everyone to b-tch about today… #QuitB-tchingAboutEverything.”
A partial archive of the Blake Fortune Twitter account’s timeline shows it has retweeted posts by Benny Johnson, Chief Creative Officer of Turning Point USA, a far-right and pro-Trump political advocacy nonprofit with ties to white supremacists.
Michael Blake Fortune II also used his official LinkedIn account to praise anti-trans legislation passed in South Dakota as well as right-wing lifestyle brand Black Rifle Coffee Company, comments reviewed by Unicorn Riot show. He also shared a LinkedIn post celebrating racist anti-immigrant remarks by former U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt. Due to the design of the LinkedIn platform, every single comment made by Fortune’s LinkedIn profile denotes that he is “Managing Partner at Hamilton Capital Partners.”
Hamilton Capital Partners did not reply to a request for comment. Neither did the office of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, nor the Atlanta Police Foundation, which co-manages the so-called Community Task Force for ‘Cop City.’
Unicorn Riot's coverage on the movement to defend the Atlanta Forest:
- Landing Page: Unicorn Riot Coverage of the Movement to Protect the Atlanta Forest
- Atlanta Solidarity Fund Organizers Granted Bond (June 2, 2023)
- Three Atlanta Activists Arrested, Home Raided Over Bail Fund (May 31, 2023)
- ‘Don’t Forget Us’: Forest Defenders Confront Horrors of Life in DeKalb County Jail (May 30, 2023)
- ‘Cop City’ Panel Member Posted Slurs Online, Archived Tweets Indicate (May 18, 2023)
- ‘We Do Not Need a School for Assassins’: Hours of Public Comment Unanimously Against ‘Cop City’ (May 16, 2023)
- Three Face Felonies for Allegedly Flyering Near Home of One Georgia Trooper Tied to Killing of Forest Defender (May 8, 2023)
- One Granted Bond, Two Denied Pretrial Release: Forest Defenders Appear for Preliminary Hearings (May 4, 2023)
- No Gunpowder Residue Found on Manuel ‘Tortuguita’ Terán According to DeKalb County Autopsy (April 21, 2023)
- Eight Remain in Jail from March 5 Weelaunee Forest Raid, 15 Released (March 24, 2023)
- Behind the #StopCopCity Domestic Terrorism Warrants (March 21, 2023)
- An Historic Direct Action in a Forest Outside Atlanta (March 18, 2023)
- Manuel ‘Tortuguita’ Terán’s Independent Autopsy Report Released at Press Conference (March 13, 2023)
- Police Raid Atlanta Forest After ‘Cop City’ Opponents Overrun Security Post (March 5, 2023)
- ‘Stop Cop City’ Week of Action Begins in Atlanta (March 4, 2023)
- ‘Tortuguita Vive’: A No-Compromise Movement Responds to Police Killing a Forest Defender (February 27, 2023)
- Atlanta Activists Say Prosecutors Plan to Indict them on RICO Charges (February 25, 2023)
- ‘Community’ Committee Cheers Police Violence as Authorities Repress Resistance to ‘Cop City’ (February 24, 2023)
- Supporters of ‘Cop City’ Opponents Rally in Philly (February 24, 2023)
- Minneapolis March Connects Roof Depot Demolition Resistance to the Atlanta Forest (February 21, 2023)
- Atlanta PD Releases Bodycam Footage from Deadly Jan. 18 Forest Raid (February 8, 2023)
- Manuel ‘Tortuguita’ Terán’s Family Seeks Transparency in Police Killing (February 7, 2023)
- City of Atlanta and DeKalb County Announce ‘Agreement’ Amid Growing Opposition to Cop City (January 31, 2023)
- Marches and Vigils Across the US Respond to the Police Killing of Forest Defender Tort (January 22, 2023)
- Protester Shot and Killed by Officers During Raid on Atlanta Forest (January 18, 2023)
- Blackhall Intensifies Destruction of Weelaunee People’s Park in Atlanta Forest (January 16, 2023)
- SWAT Teams Attack Atlanta Forest Encampments, Activists Charged with ‘Terrorism’ (December 18, 2022)
- [Mini Doc] Defending the Atlanta Forest: Behind the Movement to Stop Cop City (Oct. 9, 2022)
- “Cop City” General Contractors’ Offices Attacked (May 19, 2022)
- Police Raid Atlanta Forest Occupation (May 18, 2022)
- Atlanta Fights to Save Its Forest (May 14, 2022)
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Mastodon and Patreon.