Mark Gardner and Ivory Streeter investigators with Atlanta Police Department fired after video captured them using excessive force during curfew.
Two Atlanta police officers caught on video forcibly pulling a pair of college students out of their car and placing them under arrest during the city’s curfew crackdown Saturday night have been fired, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Sunday.
The two students were in downtown Atlanta during the second night of protests in the city over the death of George Floyd. The Atlanta police officers fired for excessive use of force were identified as Investigator Mark Gardner and Investigator Ivory Streeter.
In the incident, the two students were pulled from the car, stunned, and arrested. Fox5Atlanta reported one of the students enrolled at Spelman College and the other enrolled at Morehouse College. Both Teniyah Pilgrom, 20, and Messiah Young, 22 were released from police custody Sunday.
Addressing the events from that night, the mayor called the video ‘disturbing.’
‘There clearly was an excessive use of force. We understand that our officers are working very long hours under an enormous amount of stress, but we also understand that the use of excessive force is never acceptable,’ Bottoms said during a news conference Sunday evening.
“Friends identified the two as Teniyah Pilgrom, 20, and Messiah Young, 22. Morehouse student government association president John Bowers III called the incident an act of “blatant racism.” TWO FIRED https://t.co/cFguWdezVO
— Ivan Herringbone III (@NoEmptyTalk) June 1, 2020
— Courtney Bryant (@CourtneyDBryant) June 1, 2020
The Spelman student was riding with a young man the college identified as a former Morehouse College student near downtown Atlanta when they were ordered out the vehicle, AJC reports.
‘A police officer then opened the door, tased her and pushed her on the ground,’ Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell said in a statement. ‘She was taken into custody. Her crime? Nothing. She was not charged and, after several hours in custody, was released.’
Five officers were involved in the incident. The three remaining officers have been assigned to desk duty pending an investigation, the mayor said. Mayor Bottoms said police body camera video from the incident would be released to the media.