‘Cop City’ Receives Brief Stop Work Order

Atlanta, GA — Construction on Atlanta’s ‘Cop City’ training facility was halted for a short time Thursday afternoon after inspectors found permit violations at the hotly contested work site.

DeKalb County issued the stop work order against the proposed Atlanta Public Safety Training Center after inspectors found erosion control measures, specifically silt fencing meant to contain runoff, were “malfunctioning,” according to a press release issued by the county.

But emails released by the City of Atlanta show that the order was lifted less than two hours after it was issued following a meeting between DeKalb County Chief Building Official Marcus Robinson and the supervisor and manager of the inspection division.

An inspection report from DeKalb County’s Department of Planning and Sustainability dated April 4 shows that inspectors found violations during a site visit on March 28, but no stop work order was issued until April 6.

The report mentioned how the silt fencing in the “GA Power Easement Area” needed to be “corrected” from damage and destruction caused by “protesters.”

The worksite, off of Key Road south of Atlanta, was the site of a fiery protest last month that saw hundreds of ‘Cop City’ opponents chase police away from a surveillance outpost before damaging construction and police equipment.

While the stop work order had been lifted by 4:42 p.m. Thursday, the press release announcing the stop work order was issued around 8:30 Thursday night.

Though lifted, the stop work order was to remain in effect until the county removed the signs physically posted at the worksite, as reported by 11Alive.

According to the Atlanta Community Press Collective, DeKalb County officials removed the stop work order signs Friday at 9:57 a.m., “thereby officially lifting the stop work order.”

The land disturbance permit issued to the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF) in February requires contractors follow a set of “best management practices,” including erosion control measures. A ruling by the Superior Court of Fulton County, issued in response to a lawsuit that attempted to halt construction of ‘Cop City,’ requires APF’s contractors to allow for daily inspections of the work site to ensure compliance with the measures.

The short-lived stop work order is the latest in a series of administrative issues that ‘Cop City’ has faced from the start. Last year, the project’s Community Stakeholders Advisory Committee (CSAC) dismissed Lilly Ponitz, a member of the committee, after she raised concerns about insufficient environmental assessments during the permitting process.

Earlier this year, one member of the CSAC resigned in protest after police killed Manuel ‘Tortuguita’ Paez Terán during a raid near the construction site, and another member filed a lawsuit seeking to stop construction on the project after the county issued land disturbance permits to the APF.

Alex Binder contributed to this report for Unicorn Riot.

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