Jun 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

6 Atlanta police officers charged in excessive force case

Police officers advance after firing tear gas during a demonstration on May 31, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Police officers advance after firing tear gas during a demonstration on May 31 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Six Atlanta police officers were charged after video footage emerged showing they pulled two students from a car during Saturday night protests in response to the death of George Floyd, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said in a Tuesday press conference.

The state of play: Body camera footage released by law enforcement on Sunday depicts officers using excessive force to arrest 22-year-old Messiah Young and his girlfriend, Taniyah Pilgrim, per AP. An officer used a stun gun on Pilgrim as she tried to exit the car and then police pulled her from the vehicle.

  • An officer repeatedly hit the driver’s side window of the car with a baton, while another broke the window and then used a stun gun to remove Young from the vehicle.

What they're saying: Young's lawyer said in a Monday media conference he believed they were targeted by police because they were filming the protests after curfew, per Atlanta Intown.

  • Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Pilgrim was released without charges, while she is ordering Young, who was also discharged, to have all charges against him dropped, per AP.
  • Howard said Officers Ivory Streeter and Mark Gardner, both of whom were fired on Sunday, face charges of aggravated assault in the case. Streeter faces another charge of pointing or aiming a gun at Young.

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