Atlanta, Georgia – Sunday Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Sunday that she gave orders to fire officers, Lonnie Hood, and, Mark Gardner, for excessive force on two Atlanta University Center students, Messiah Young, 22, and, Teniyah Pilgrim, 20.
“After review of that footage, Chief Shields and I have made the determination that two of the officers involved in the incident last night will be terminated immediately. The other three officers are, right now, on desk duty pending further determination of what, if any, appropriate disciplinary action should be taken against them,” the mayor said.
The two students were leaving the protest at Centennial Park on Saturday night. A body cam appears to show Young driving by and exchanging words with the officers. An officer asked Young to stop the car, but he doesn’t and drives off.
Because of heavy traffic, Hood and Gardner was able to catch the vehicle. Tires of the vehicle can be heard being punctured and the windows of the car can be seen being smashed. Resulting in both of the students being tased and detained. Pilgrim was later released at the scene with no charges while Young was taken to Grady Hospital and released Sunday.
CBS46 is reporting a police report filed by Gardner mentioned he heard one of the officers yell “gun” and that’s what caused him to use his taser. There was never a gun recovered from the scene.
Atlanta Police Chief, Ericka Shields, shared her thoughts on the incidents, “We have been handed an enormous obstacle and have by and large, done it as well as we could in the space that we’re being afforded,” Shields said. “It’s an unpleasant space to be in but that does not relieve us of our responsibilities. And we have a responsibility, when we handle any incident, to not escalate the incident and not cause further harm or injury.”