Friends of the protestor killed during an officer-involved shooting at the site of a planned Atlanta police training facility held a vigil in their remembrance.
Manuel Teran, who friends called Tortuguita, died after being shot by Georgia State Patrol troopers during a raid on Wednesday. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Teran fired a gun at a trooper without warning, seriously injuring him.
Officials said the trooper, who is not being identified for safety reasons, was shot in his pelvic area and was wearing a bulletproof vest during the incident. He underwent surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital and is now stable, according to GSP officials.
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On Friday night, Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln spoke to Teran’s friend Kamau Franklin, who works with social justice nonprofit Community Movement Builders. Franklin said he questions the GBI’s version of events.
“We’re heartbroken. Horrified,” friend Kamau Franklin, said. “We don’t know how many times (the trooper) was shot, what angles this person was shot. This could be an act of friendly fire, which got the police officer shot.”
The GBI confirmed Friday night through forensic ballistic testing that the shot that injured the officer was fired from Teran’s gun, which was recovered at the scene.
GBI Director Mike Register said several agencies raided the area near the proposed facility site Wednesday morning to clear the area of protesters who have been occupying the property for more than a year.
As law enforcement moved in, officers found Teran inside a tent in the woods. Investigators said he did not comply with commands and shot a Georgia State Patrol Trooper.
Franklin said national protests in opposition of the Atlanta Public Safety training facility are growing.
“This latest killing has only led to more support, more solidarity,” Franklin said.
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This week, vigils and protests were held in cities like Charlotte, Los Angeles, Portland and Savannah.
Franklin said protestors who are a part of the movement are acting independently.
“There are definitely people who are coming from out of Atlanta, outside of the State of Georgia, and we welcome that,” Franklin said.
Protests are scheduled for tonight in New York and Tennessee.