Three Atlanta activists who led a fundraising initiative to assist in the release of protesters apprehended during the demonstrations against the state’s controversial “Cop City” have been apprehended for alleged financial misconduct.
On Wednesday morning, three individuals associated with the Atlanta Solidarity Fund—Marlon Scott Kautz, aged 39 from Atlanta; Savannah D. Patterson, aged 30 from Savannah; and Adele MacLean, aged 42 from Atlanta—were apprehended at Kautz and MacLean’s residence, a distinctive and vibrant house adorned with anti-police graffiti. The charges pressed against them include money laundering and charity fraud.
While state investigators claim to possess evidence linking all three organizers to the alleged crimes, their attorney, Don Samuel, expressed his confusion regarding the basis of the charges. Samuel stated that he is aware of the crimes being alleged but remains uncertain about the specific actions the state is accusing his clients of and how they supposedly engaged in charity fraud.
The trio leads the Network for Strong Communities, an organization that was established in 2020. Their primary focus is on raising funds for the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, which provides support for protestors by posting bail and securing legal representation for them.
The protestors have been actively demonstrating against a new police training facility known as the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, which they have nicknamed “Cop City.” They argue that the construction of this facility will contribute to the militarization of law enforcement officers. Additionally, they express concern about the environmental impact caused by the clearance of approximately 85 acres of wooded lands.
Since the onset of the protests, over 40 protestors have been apprehended and accused of domestic terrorism due to their occasionally destructive actions.
In response to the arrests of the three leaders, Republican Governor Brian Kemp affirmed the state’s commitment to pursue every member of the criminal organization, ranging from violent individuals to their indifferent leaders.
The Attorney General of the state, Chris Carr, who is also a Republican, expressed his unwavering determination to ensure that every individual who has supported, orchestrated, or engaged in acts of violence and intimidation is held accountable. Rest is not an option until justice is served.