The Atlanta Police Department (APD) has relieved two officers from duty after a video surfaced of one of them kicking a handcuffed woman in the head.
A video surfaced on various social media platforms showing a Black woman handcuffed, laying on the ground facedown as two APD officers stand over her.
The woman then appears to raise her head and spit on one of the officers’ boots and pants. The officer in response swiftly kicks the woman in the head while his colleague watches.
The video, which has been viewed tens of thousands of times, drew major backlash from people citing excessive police force. The woman was not charged with a crime, The Washington Post noted.
In a statement on Monday, APD Chief Rodney Bryant said that the department is aware of the video and that the officer's actions were “unacceptable.” He also cited concerns about the other officer's “apparent lack of reaction” during the incident.
“The decision was made to immediately relieve both employees from duty, with the sergeant placed on unpaid suspension and the officer placed on administrative assignment,” Rodney said in the statement.
The new incident comes in the aftermath of the police-involved shooting death of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks in June 2020, which led to massive riots and protests in Atlanta.
The officer who killed Brooks, Garrett Rolfe, was later reinstated by the city's Civil Service Board in May.
Gerald Griggs, vice president of the NAACP's Atlanta chapter, told Fox affiliate WAGA that he was in “shock and angered” by the video, saying that the NAACP is already investigating this matter.
“You know we’ve been talking about community-police relations for a long time in Atlanta,” Griggs told WAGA, “and to see something like that, a handcuffed individual kicked in the face, nothing justifies that.”