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No Charges Against Georgia Police in Death of Queer Environmental Activist Shot 57 Times

Author: Trudy Ring

No charges will be brought against the Georgia state troopers who shot and killed queer environmental activist Manuel Esteban Paez Terán in January, even though Terán had at least 57 gunshot wounds, a prosecutor announced Friday.

An independent autopsy commissioned by Terán’s family found that the activist had 57 gunshot wounds and that their hands were raised at the time of the shooting. Terán had no gunshot residue on their hands. An autopsy by the DeKalb County medical examiner’s office reached no conclusion about the position of Terán’s hands, but the office did rule their death a homicide.

Kamau Franklin, who has helped organize the protests at the site, questioned Christian’s account in an interview with The New York Times. Christian distorts the events to the degree that “Terán somehow now is some Rambo figure in a cloth tent, able to take multiple gunshots, fire back and launch an explosive device,” Franklin said. That’s “just outrageous,” he added.

Terán’s mother, Belkis Terán, has said the activist was a pacifist who would use a gun only in self-defense and that their death was an assassination. Franklin and other protesters have called for an independent investigation of Terán’s killing. The Georgia attorney general’s office is investigating as well but has not released any conclusions.

A grand jury convened by Republican AG Christopher Carr, however, has indicted 61 of Terán’s fellow protesters under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the same law cited in Fulton County’s indictments of Donald Trump and his associates regarding their efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the state. The environmental activists are accused of arson and domestic terrorism, among other charges.

“Looking the other way when violence occurs is not an option in Georgia,” Carr said at a press conference in September, according to the Times. “If you come to our state and shoot a police officer, throw Molotov cocktails at law enforcement, set fire to police vehicles, damage construction equipment, vandalize private homes and businesses and terrorize their occupants, you can and will be held accountable.”

“Opponents and some legal experts say that the state has taken a heavy-handed approach to the protests, and that the Stop Cop City movement is largely composed of peaceful protesters,” the Times reports.

Pictured: Manuel Esteban Paez Terán (right) and another Stop Cop City protester

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring

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