Two police officers fired after bodycam footage shows 'excessive force' in arrest of college students, Atlanta mayor says

'It was the worst experience of my life', young woman says

Louise Hall
Monday 01 June 2020 22:32 BST
Bodycam video shows Atlanta police yank students out of car

Two Atlanta police officers have been fired after they were filmed using "excessive force" against two college students amidst George Floyd protests on Saturday, the state's mayor has said.

Bodycam footage from the incident appeared to show officers smashing the window of a car and using a taser on the man in the driver's seat.

Officers then seemingly dragged the student out of the car and detained him on the pavement.

The woman in the passenger's seat, who was also forcibly removed from the vehicle according to reports, told CNN that the incident “was the worst experience of [her] life.”

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said she recognised the two as Spelman College and Morehouse College students, the broadcaster reported.

Atlanta’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, announced that two officers had been fired on Sunday after an extensive review of the footage. Five officers were involved in the incident in total.

“As we watch the video today, it became abundantly clear immediately with the young woman that this force was excessive,” Mayor Bottoms said according to CNN.

“It also became abundantly clear that the officer who tased the young man needed to be terminated as well.”

Another three officers connected to the incident were said to have been put on “desk duty” pending determination of any other disciplinary action that should be taken.

The mayor called the footage of the arrest “disturbing on many levels”.

The two students were in their vehicle amidst the Floyd protests in Atlanta on Saturday.

According to CNN, one of the officers claimed he used his taser because he was unsure if either student was armed.​

The protests in Atlanta come following the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man, who died after in police custody after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground by his neck for a prolonged period of time.

Outrage over Floyd’s death has spiralled in the last week with violent protests and demonstrators breaking out across the US and in particular Minneapolis, where Floyd died.

The demonstrations have extended to greater themes regarding the death of black people at the hands of police, and institutional racism throughout the country.

Mayor Adams ordered charges to be dropped against the man involved in the incident, according to CNN. The woman was reportedly not charged.

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