May 31, 2023 - News

Three "Stop Cop City" activists arrested for financial crimes

Illustration of a police badge with a cityscape design on it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A law enforcement task force investigating the activists trying to block the construction of Atlanta's proposed public safety training center have charged three people with financial crimes.

What's happening: Wednesday morning, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, agents and police served a search warrant at an east Atlanta home and arrested Marlon Kautz and Adele Maclean, both from Atlanta, and Savannah D. Patterson of Savannah. Kautz is the spokesperson for the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, which pays bail and provides legal defense to protesters.

  • The law enforcement officers found evidence linking the three suspects to financial crimes, the GBI said in a news release, and charged all three with money laundering and charity fraud.
  • "All three charged will be booked into a local jail and will have a bond hearing scheduled soon," the agency said.

What they're saying: "ASF understands that with social resistance comes government repression," the organization said in a statement shared by the Atlanta Press Community Collaborative on Twitter. "We remain committed to supporting anyone who is targeted, and challenging the violence and overreach tactics from the Atlanta PD and DeKalb and Fulton County legal system."

  • "These are false charges that need to be fought. Bail funds and individuals are being targeted by the GBI and APD for their actions to #StopCopCity," Kamau Franklin, the founder of Community Movement Builders, a social justice organization that opposes the training center's construction, said in a tweet after the arrests.

Of note: Three months ago, Kautz publicly accused "police, prosecutors and even Gov. [Brian] Kemp" of trying to paint the "Stop Cop City" movement as a criminal organization "whose members conspire to commit acts of terrorism."

  • Kautz said at the time that a conversation between a lawyer representing activists and a state prosecutor indicated that RICO charges against people involved in the movement were forthcoming.

This is a developing story.

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