A Minneapolis resident was part of a group of far-left activists in Atlanta who threw a Molotov at police this week.
Protesters, including one 23-year-old from Minneapolis occupied public land in Georgia where a police training facility will be built. Activists spiked trees to prevent their removal, built a treehouse and protested outside the home of a man who helps run the firm contracted to develop the new facility. Police went near the site of the occupied forest earlier this week and were met with a fire bomb hurled in their direction.
Members of the seven person group apparently responsible for the Molotov were arrested and charged with trespassing.
Abigail Skapyak, 23, is a former University of Minnesota student, former Department of Justice intern and current Minneapolis resident. She was arrested with the group and was also charged with giving a false name to police.
A surveillance video of the May 17 incident shows a flaming object being flung from the forest toward a group of cops, landing just inside a fence and starting a fire.
Body camera footage also shows a fire erupting in black smoke near the group of cops.
Among the arrested was University of Wisconsin teacher Hannah Margaret Kass, who teaches environmental studies at the college.
The group was made up almost entirely of out-of-state protesters; others who were arrested came from New York, California, Philadelphia, Ohio and Massachusetts.
Some activists had camped out in the forest area for seven months, protesting the city’s intent to build the training facility on land some deem the “lungs of Atlanta” and say is “ecologically critical to the city’s survival,” per Reporter Newspapers.
The forest is the Muscogee Nation’s ancestors’ home and is known as the Weelaunee Forest, according to one community member who lives near where the disturbance took place.
The group of activists calls the public safety training facility “Cop City” and held its own press conference last week to voice concerns about building in the Atlanta Forest. The city of Atlanta approved the training facility last fall, after 17 hours of public comment, most being against building the facility.
The group’s Instagram page describes themselves as an “abolitionist movement” of “forest defenders.”