Homeland Security Unit Detective P.B. Jackson at Egypt Solidarity Demo
On February 6th, 2013, Atlanta anarchists held a march and rally in solidarity with anarchists in Egypt. As is to be expected, the Atlanta Police sent out a detective from the department's Homeland Security Unit (HSU) to monitor the demonstration and take pictures of activists.
A man was noticed sitting on a bench, taking photos and video with his cellphone between typing out text messages. Copwatchers approached the conspicuous man and asked for his name and assignement number, which all APD officers are obligated to provide while on duty. He immediately identified himself as Detective P.B. Jackson with the HSU.
Video of his cell phone screen captured a text message conversation with "Todd Coyt" in which Jackson tells Coyt that there were "No zone personnel present. Kind of like a silent demonstration so far" in response to an original message which was not intercepted but was sent to "Curtis Davenport" in addition to Jackson.
The demonstrators began a march around the Little Five Points district which lasted less than a half hour. Jackson proceeded to follow the march, openly attempting to photograph marchers and copwatchers, while also berating copwatchers about his own involvment in civil liberties struggles in the past and questioning their committment to social change.
"I know civil liberties aren't free; I know I paid for mine. Yep! Went to jail for the same thing y'all are marchin' for, so y'all can march. And that is good! Now I wonder - I just wonder - when the real deal comes down and there's a real reason to protest, will you guys be here? When they're really trying to take away your civil liberties, will you guys still be here? I wonder..."
The irony should not be lost on anyone.
The march dispersed peacefully, but copwatchers stuck around to continue monitoring police activity in the area. Jackson attempted to evade the copwatchers by walking around the residential neighborhood adjacent to the Little Five Points district before climbing into a black Ford Expedition (license plate AUN 0659 or AUN 0569), that was parked in the Zestos parking lot, and leaving.