Crossword Genius

Authoritarian unit involved in unstable Atlanta riot (12)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

totalitarian

I'm a little stuck...
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Here is my best explanation:

'authoritarian' is the definition.

(thesaurus)

'unit involved in unstable atlanta riot' is the subsidiary indication.

I cannot quite understand how this works, but

'unit' could be 'total' (total is a kind of unit) and 'total' is present in the answer.

This explanation may well be incorrect...

This clue was last seen in The Irish Times

(Other definitions for totalitarian that I've seen before include "Of ultimate-State-control system", "Despotic", "One-party", "far from liberal", "Tyrannical", "(Of states) extremely dictatorial", "Allowing no opposition" and "Dictatorial".)

Ross

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