As demonstrators continue to fill the streets to demand justice for George Floyd in nationwide protests against police brutality, six Atlanta police officers have been charged for using excessive force in another incident.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced charges against six officers after footage showed the boys in blue pulling two college students from a car. Two officers, Investigator Ivory Streeter and Investigator Mark Gardner, were fired earlier this week after footage of the incident went viral.
The incident occurred on Saturday night as officers were trying to disperse protestors. Amid the commotion, the students, who have been identified as Messiah Young and Taniyah Pilgrim, were seen being ripped out of a car. Five of the officers have been charged with aggravated assault, in addition to other charges.
According to local news, Streeter and Gardner have been charged with aggravated assault, while other officers have also charged with aggravated assault. One has been charged with aggravated battery, and some have also charged with criminal damage to property as well as pointing or aiming a gun.
On Sunday, body cam footage showed the dramatic exchange, as Young is seen in the driver’s seat, using his phone – for what appeared to be a video.
Officers then approach the vehicle and proceed to pull the driver’s side door open. As Young pulls it closed, he says, “I’m not dying today,” and advances his car. Shortly after, several officers rush toward the car, and Pilgrim is stunned as she is trying to get out of the car. When she is pulled from the vehicle, officers bark orders at Young as another officer stuns him, and others shout he has a gun. The two students were arrested, and no gun was recovered from the scene.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms later condemned the incident and revealed that both Pilgrim and Young had been released. Young, who was charged with attempting to elude police and driving with a suspended license, had his charges dropped under the direction of Bottoms as well.