Southern Poverty Law Center lawyer charged with domestic terrorism amid Atlanta riot released on bail

Thomas Webb Jurgens was among 23 suspected domestic terrorists arrested over the weekend

A lawyer for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) was released on bail after being arrested and charged with domestic terrorism after protests over a planned Atlanta police training facility, dubbed by opponents as "Cop City," turned violent.

Thomas Webb Jurgens was among 23 suspected domestic terrorists released by the Atlanta Police Department on Monday. He was arrested Sunday as violence broke out in Atlanta when demonstrators hurled bricks and Molotov cocktails at police officers and set cars on fire. 


southern poverty law center lawyer charged with domestic terrorism amid atlanta riot released on bail

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lawyer Thomas Jurgens was arrested in Atlanta and charged with domestic terrorism.  (Atlanta Police Department )

"We are pleased that the DeKalb County assistant district attorney (ADA) agreed to a consent bond for Tom Jurgens," SPLC President and CEO Margaret Huang said in a statement. "As we previously stated, Tom was performing a public service, documenting potential violations of protesters’ rights. We are outraged that police officers present at the protest refused to acknowledge Tom’s role as a legal observer and instead chose to arrest him. We are confident that the evidence will demonstrate he was a peaceful legal observer."

The Atlanta Police Department said many of the suspects came from other states with the exception of two, including Jurgens. 

Huang said the SPLC will continue to "defend the civil and human rights of all people" and urged the Atlanta Police Department to "de-escalate violence and avoid excessive use of force against protesters."

southern poverty law center lawyer charged with domestic terrorism amid atlanta riot released on bail

Atlanta police say demonstrators set fire to equipment and throw explosives at officers.  (Atlanta Police Department)

The SPLC describes itself as a "catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people."

The group has come under fire for designating mainstream conservative and Christian organizations as "hate groups," putting them on a list alongside organizations like the Ku Klux Klan. 

"The SPLC is known and respected for tracking and exposing far-right extremism and hate. Extremists will exploit any opportunity to criticize us because we are committed to exposing their hateful ideology," Huang said. "We will continue to expose and take on the most extreme, racist actors in our country and to defend the rights of all people — including protesters — to express themselves peacefully."

Fox News' Emma Colton contributed to this report. 

Louis Casiano is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Authored by Louis Casiano via FoxNews March 7th 2023