Two Atlanta police officers who were captured on video forcibly pulling a pair of college students out of their auto and placing them under arrest during protests Saturday night, May 30 have been fired, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Sunday, May 31. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says three other officers are on desk duty.
Once pulled over, video shows, several officers swarm the vehicle and forcefully drag the occupants - 20-year-old Spelman College student Taniyah Pilgrim and 22-year-old Morehouse College graduate Messiah Young - from the auto.
"Sometime during the night, I saw very disturbing video of two young college students who were in downtown Atlanta yesterday evening", Bottoms said.
Mark Gardner and Ivory Streeter, officers with the Atlanta Police Department since 1997 and 2003 respectively, were terminated from the police force after footage of them violently confronting a black woman and man went viral. They use zip-tie handcuffs on Pilgrim as she lays on the ground.
According to a statement from Spelman College's Student Government Association, Pilgrim was released shortly after midnight-while Young was taken to a local hospital for an epileptic seizure, but was released from police custody on Sunday morning.
She didn't specify what charges he faced. The young man was also tasered by police before being forcefully removed from the auto.
She said she'd also spoken to representatives for the students but hadn't yet spoken directly to them. She later apologized to the victims, saying how the department behaved was "unacceptable". "This is not what we are about", Shields said to the two students during the Sunday conference. "For some reason, we've fallen into a gray area where there's a separate set of rules for law enforcement, and if we want to get out of this space that we're in now we have to change how we manage internally". The video was under investigation and it was unclear whether anybody was injured in the incident.
Local news station CBS 46 recorded the arrests that occurred at about 9 p.m. on Saturday. Three officers are on desk duty, Bottoms said, until they can sort out what happened.
The big picture: Thousands of Americans have been protesting police brutality and racism for six days, in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, EMT Breonna Taylor, jogger Ahmaud Arbery and countless other black Americans.
Mark Gardner and Ivory Streeter were terminated by the Atlanta Police Department for their use of force at a protest Saturday. The curfew was initially imposed after demonstrations Friday night turned violent with people setting fires and smashing windows at businesses and restaurants.