Woke Lawmakers Call for 'Accountability' Over Atlanta Shooting - Georgia Bureau of Investigation Gives Them a Big Reminder


The latest cause célèbre among woke liberals is the death of “Tortuguita” — the chosen pseudonym of Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, a nonbinary environmentalist activist who was killed by police in Atlanta last week after he allegedly shot at a state trooper during a protest over the construction of a law enforcement training center in the city.

Naturally, two members of the so-called progressive “squad” in Congress — and boy, do they ever become less relevant by the day, no? — called for an “independent investigation” into Tortuguita’s death in posts on Twitter.

Those calls prompted the Georgia Bureau of Investigations to remind the woke lawmakers that, um, that investigation was already taking place. But thanks for the push?

If you haven’t been following this case, just to get you up to speed: Last Wednesday, Tortuguita, whose name means “little turtle” in Spanish, was among those protesting at the site of the planned training center — dubbed “Cop City” by activists, according to The Associated Press.

Tortuguita reportedly wounded a state trooper before he was shot and killed. But, as the AP noted, “activists have questioned officials’ version of events, calling it a ‘murder’ and demanding an independent investigation.”

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Environmentalist protesters had targeted the site because, according to a report in the U.K. Guardian, it was being built in a forest that official city plans from four years ago sought to retain “as a key part of efforts to maintain Atlanta’s renowned tree canopy as a buffer against global warming, and to create what would have been the metro area’s largest park.”

The city’s then-mayor, Democrat Keisha Lance Bottoms, announced plans for the training center in late-2021.

Authorities say that the bullet found in the abdomen of a shot officer matched a gun that was discovered in the possession of Tortuguita, but that didn’t stop violent protests from rocking Atlanta over the weekend.

It also didn’t stop Missouri Democrat Rep. Cori Bush — a kind of annex to the far-left “squad,” having been first elected two years after the initial group of four uber-wokeists was elected in 2018 — from calling for an “independent investigation” into Tortuguita’s death.

Is this shooting getting a fair investigation?

“Last week, police killed Tortuguita, a climate justice protester in Atlanta who was defending a forest set to be destroyed for Cop City, a police training center,” she tweeted Monday.

“I am calling for an independent investigation into their death. There must be accountability.”

This was seconded by one of the “core four” members of the “squad,” Michigan Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib, in her own tweet.

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“I echo Rep. Bush’s call for an independent investigation. We demand justice for Tortuguita. I stand with the forest protectors righteously fighting Cop City,” she tweeted.

As the Georgia Bureau of Investigations was forced to remind them, however, this investigation was already ongoing:

In the media release, the GBI noted that “[a] special prosecutor will be assigned by the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council to review our findings related to this case.

“In the past decade, the GBI has investigated numerous OIS [officer-involved shootings] cases for local and state law enforcement. Our track record of impartiality precedes this January 18 incident. The GBI and Georgia State Patrol are two separate agencies. As in every officer involved shooting investigation, our procedure is to gather information concerning OIS events and turn the investigative file over to the prosecutor in the jurisdiction the event occurred for their review and action.”

Think that has to be embarrassing for Reps. Bush and Tlaib? Think again.

By “independent investigation,” what Bush and Tlaib — and, indeed, the rest of the left — actually mean involves neither a real investigation nor an independent one. From their tone, it’s easy to sense what the actual meaning of an “independent investigation” is, to them: What they want is some arm of officialdom to reach the predetermined conclusion that Tortuguita was murdered by police.

Then, in their world, that arm of officialdom would charge the officer involved and bring the case to trial. There, the members of the jury would either 1) reach the only reasonable conclusion, which was that Tortuguita was murdered by police, or 2) be a bunch of reactionary bigots who squeal with glee every time a bloodthirsty cop kills an unarmed person of color, which is why they acquitted the cop.

The facts of the case don’t matter, in their world. You heard Rep. Tlaib: They “demand justice.” Which is to imply that justice wasn’t already served, of course, unfortunate though it may have been that someone had to die.

It doesn’t matter that the GBI has confirmed Tortuguita purchased the gun that was used to shoot the state trooper, or that the gun was found on him and the ballistics matched up.

Tortuguita is a Peruvian nonbinary climate justice activist who was protesting something the left calls “Cop City.” He checks all the progressive boxes. It doesn’t matter what he did or didn’t do before the shooting. His possible guilt — and the danger he posed to law enforcement — isn’t important.

Now, if there is really is evidence the shooting was uncalled for — well, there’s an actual independent investigation into that. It’s not the air-quotes “independent investigation” the left wants. But if Reps. Bush and Tlaib want to bait their base on Twitter by lionizing a man who’s accused of shooting a police officer, they shouldn’t be surprised when they get very publicly fact-checked on the matter.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture