Six Atlanta police officers who were caught on video forcibly dragging two young black college students out of their car during the end of a protest have been charged, according to ABC News.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced criminal charges against the officers who were shown pulling two young black people from a car and then shooting them with their stun guns. The driver and passenger were stuck in traffic as they were leaving protests over George Floyd’s death.
“I feel a little safer now that these monsters are off of the street and no longer able to terrorize anyone else,” said 22-year-old Messiah Young, who was tasered and dragged from the car along with his girlfriend, 20-year-old Taniyah Pilgrim.
“I’m so happy that they’re being held accountable for their actions,” Pilgrim said at the news conference.
The couple was leaving the protest at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park as the video shows police officers smashing the driver’s side window, forcibly opening the passenger side door, and using stun guns on the passengers before forcing them out of the vehicle.
“Unfortunately, we have been here many, many times before, where officers are arrested,” Young’s attorney, Mawuli Davis, told CBS News. “And so we are prayerful, hopeful that this will go to its full conclusion. And these officers will not only be arrested, indicted, and convicted. Because what they did to our children, and these are our community children, they have to be held accountable for.”
Based on arrest warrants for the officers:
Ivory Streeter is charged with aggravated assault for using a Taser against Young and is also charged with pointing a gun at him.
Mark Gardner is charged with aggravated assault for using a Taser against Pilgrim.
Lonnie Hood is charged with aggravated assault against both Young and Pilgrim for using a Taser against both of them. He is also charged with simple battery for violently pulling Pilgrim from the car and throwing her down on to the street.
Willie Sauls is charged with aggravated assault for pointing a Taser at Pilgrim. He’s also charged with criminal damage for repeatedly hitting and damaging the driver’s side window of the car,.
Armon Jones is charged with aggravated battery for hurting Young’s left arm when he dragged him from the car and slammed him onto the street. He’s also charged with pointing a gun at Young.
Roland Claud is charged with criminal damage for breaking the car’s windows.
All of the charged officers are black except for Claud, who’s white. Atlanta Police Department sworn personnel is about 61% black, according to 2019 numbers provided by the department.