Judge denies bond for all but 1 of 23 arrested for attack at planned police training facility
Nearly two dozen people accused of coordinating a violent attack on police officers defending the proposed site of an Atlanta police training facility will remain in jail after a judge denied them bond.
Channel 2′s Michael Seiden was inside the courtroom as attorneys for the defendants argued that they be released.
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The 23 defendants charged with domestic terrorism were looking to get out of jail and go home, but the judge didn’t feel comfortable releasing everyone, especially since only two of them have ties to Georgia.
The judge listened to their lawyers for most of the afternoon. The mother of one 26-year-old man from Connecticut even testified on her son’s behalf when the judge asked if she would make sure he gets back to court.
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“I will accompany him myself,” Kate Early said, promising that her son was not at risk of committing a crime if he’s granted bond.
Pete Johnson, the Chief Assistant District Attorney in DeKalb County, laid out why the group should remain in jail.
“You had to make a concerted effort to go there,” Johnson said. “This group changed their clothing into all black out clothing. They had shields. They had bags of rocks. They had fireworks. They had Molotov cocktails.”
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The judge ended up siding with prosecutors, denying bond for all but one of the people charged with domestic terrorism.
Thomas Jurgens, a staff attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, was granted a $5,000 bond after prosecutors determined that he was only there as an observer and not a participant in the violence.
“Given the fact that he is a bared attorney, his claim at this point, he’s a legal observer I can’t stand here and say there’s evidence he threw something,” the judge said.
Earlier Tuesday, Seiden reached out to Governor Brian Kemp’s office looking to find out if he planned on activating the National Guard in light of Sunday night’s attack. A spokesman for his office sent Channel 2 Action News the following statement:
“The governor and senior state leadership continue to monitor the situation carefully. Thanks to state and local law enforcement’s dedication and quick action, the situation was brought under control in a timely manner. Law enforcement remains at the ready to address any issues of violence or unrest.”
Dekalb officials confirmed Tuesday that organizers who hosted the two-day music festival that led to the attack did not have a permit and never even applied for one.