Activists vandalized the home and vehicles of Miller Gorrie, chairman of Birmingham-based Brasfield & Gorrie, in protest of a planned $90 million, 85-acre police, fire and public safety training center in Atlanta.
The activists, identifying themselves as the Forest Defenders, claimed responsibility for the attack at the Birmingham, Alabama-area home, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Brasfield & Gorrie, the prime contractor on the project, says its employees and families have been the targets of criminal acts of trespassing, vandalism, and harassment over the last several months.
The police training center campus plan was approved by Atlanta City Council in September 2021. The project is slated to be constructed at the site of the Old Atlanta Prison Farm in DeKalb County.
Neighbors have objected to the project, citing potential smoke and noise from the facility that will include a shooting range and a mock city and burn building. The Forest Defenders have protested potential environmental impacts to the surrounding woodlands and the nearby South River, and have attracted national media attention.
The activists have sabotaged machinery at the jobsite, built shelters in trees to interrupt construction, and thrown rocks and Molotov cocktails at police and contractors, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.