DeKalb County releases autopsy in ‘Cop City’ protester Manuel Teran’s death


(ATLANTA) — DeKalb County has released the autopsy results related to the death of Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, who demonstrated against the construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center earlier this year.

The training center has been the subject of controversy. City officials assert that the center could improve policing, while critics claim the effort is militarizing police and endangering communities.

Teran, who went by “Tortuguita” and used they/them pronouns, was shot and killed by police on Jan. 18 as officers raided campgrounds occupied by environmental demonstrators who had allegedly been camping out for months to protest the development of the training center, dubbed “Cop City” by critics.

According to the autopsy sent to ABC News, Teran did not have gunpowder residue on their hands. Officials claimed Teran fired the first shot at a state trooper. Officers then responded with gunfire.

Teran had at least 57 gunshot wounds in their body, according to the autopsy, including in the hands, torso, legs and head.

An independent autopsy from the family found that Teran’s hands were raised during the fatal shooting. The Dekalb County autopsy stated, however, “there are too many variables with respect to movement of the decedent and the shooters to draw definitive conclusions concerning Mr. Teran’s body position.”

Teran’s death has been ruled a homicide, according to the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office.

There is no body camera footage of the incident, police said. Officials say investigations into the incident are ongoing.

The Georgia Department of Public Safety told ABC News it cannot comment due to an open and ongoing investigation. ABC News has also reached out to the legal team of Teran’s family for comment.

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