Six Atlanta police officers charged after allegedly pulling two protesters from car
Six Atlanta police officers have been charged over an incident that was caught on video in which a couple was forcibly pulled out of their car and had a stun gun used against them, seemingly without warning, during protests over the death of George Floyd.
The charges come after Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) announced that charges against Messiah Young, the man seen in the video, would be dropped and his girlfriend had been released without charges.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that four of the officers seen on video dragging the two people out of their vehicle are charged with aggravated assault, while one more was charged with aggravated battery. Several of the six, including the one officer not charged with battery or assault, were charged with damage to property and pointing a gun without cause.
Bodycam footage of the incident shows police using a stun gun without warning as the woman in the passenger seat tries to get out of the car. A stun gun is similar to a taser but is usually used at a closer proximity. It uses electric volts to shock a person, and the woman in the video can be heard screaming as she is continuously shocked by the stun gun.
“I feel a little safer now that these monsters are off the street and no longer able to terrorize anyone else,” Young told the AP.
“I’m so happy that they’re being held accountable for their actions,” added Taniyah Pilgrim, his girlfriend.
“Use of excessive force is never acceptable,” the mayor added at the news conference.
Protests have raged for days in Atlanta and cities around the country over the death of Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Video of Floyd’s death shows an officer, who was later charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for an extended period of time as Floyd protested that he could not breathe.