The 2 Atlanta Cops Fired After Tasing College Students Are Now Suing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
The two Atlanta Police Department officers who were fired after tasing two college students have filed a lawsuit against Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields.
As previously reported, Ivory Streeter and Mark Gardner were fired on May 31st after a viral video showed them using “excessive force” on Morehouse and Spelman college students Taniyah Pilgrim, 20, and Messiah Young, 22 following protests in Atlanta.
The incident occurred as the officers attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle after the 9 p.m. curfew the night before (May 30th). The officers’ lawsuit, filed Monday (June 8th) states that they were
“dismissed without an investigation, proper notice or a pre-disciplinary hearing and that the firings were against city code.”
Both officers also want to return to work.
According to a report, the lawsuit also claims,
“Their use of force was proper and in compliance with the law, the policies of the Atlanta Police Department, prevailing standards of law enforcement, and the training provided to them through the City of Atlanta Police Department and the State of Georgia.”
“Petitioners have suffered irreparable injury to their personal and professional reputations as a result of their unlawful dismissal.”
The incident took place in downtown Atlanta, on Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Andrew Young International Boulevard where body camera and bystander footage show the officers breaking the windows of the vehicle, which is stopped in the middle of the street, tasing them and pulling them both out of the car. Both protestors say this was the worst experience of their lives and felt as though they were going to die.
Taniyah Pilgrim, who is the owner of the car, had a stun gun used on her and was restrained with zip ties, but was never charged.
Messiah Young who happened to be driving the car at the time, had a stun gun used on him, was yanked from the car, and suffered a fractured arm, he was charged, but the charges were dismissed by the mayor.
On June 2, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced criminal charges against Streeter, Gardner and four other officers involved.
“We created chaos and we escalated a low-level encounter into a space where we introduced violence, once this occurs, we need to own it.”
The two officers not only lost their salaries, but their state peace officer certification is also in jeopardy.
Ivory Streeter has been charged with “aggravated assault and pointing or aiming a gun or pistol at another person;” and Mark Gardner is facing an “aggravated assault charge,” according to official court documents
The other officers, involved in the incident, have since been charged and placed on desk duty pending the investigation.
Neither APD nor Bottoms immediately responded to a request for comment late Monday.
What are your thoughts on the two officers wanting their jobs back? Let us know in the comments!