Atlanta to close City Hall offices, ban liquids and gels ahead of training center vote

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

Atlanta will close some City Hall offices and provide services online Monday, ahead of a vote on the planned public safety training center.

In a news release sent at 5:59 p.m. on Friday, the city said a number of offices would temporarily close Monday and reopen Tuesday. In addition, the release said, “due to increased security concerns, the Commissioner of the Department of Enterprise Asset Management has issued a temporary rule prohibiting liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes from being carried into City Hall by persons other than City officials or employees until further notice. Medications and Infant nourishments are exempt from this prohibition. Persons shall be permitted to dispose of any liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes at the security checkpoint at the entrance to City Hall.”

Water is available for free inside City Hall, the release added.

On Friday afternoon, a magistrate court judge granted bond for three people charged Wednesday with money laundering and charity fraud for alleged actions taken as executives with the nonprofit Network for Strong Communities, which supported the nonprofit Defend the Atlanta Forest, “a group classified by the United States Department of Homeland Security as Domestic Violent Extremists,” according to arrest warrants.

Prosecutors say the defendants “harbor extremist anti-government and anti-establishment views” while their lawyer said the three had not engaged in any violent behavior but had been raising money to feed homeless people or those who have been jailed for protesting.

The judge granting bond said the state’s evidence didn’t have “a lot of meat on the bones.”

Council members have faced intense scrutiny from groups opposed to the 85-acre planned training facility for police officers and firefighters on the site of Atlanta’s old prison farm in unincorporated DeKalb County.

This article includes past reporting from Riley Bunch and Jozsef Papp.