Two Of The Six Atlanta Officers Who Were Fired After A Viral Video

Two Of The Six Atlanta Officers Who Were Fired After A Viral Video Showed Them Dragging Two College Students Out Of A Car Have Been Reinstated With Backpay (Update)

Roommates, if you recall, last June, we reported two college students who caught the attention of the nation after footage of their arrest in Atlanta went viral and showed six officers using excessive force. Those officers faced several criminal charges. They were removed from the force after being caught on video pulling 20-year-old Spelman student Taniyah Pilgrim and 22-year-old Morehouse student Messiah Young from their vehicle on May 30th.

However, it was reported yesterday that the Civil Service Board ruled that the city “did not follow the personnel regulations of the Atlanta Code of Ordinances in the dismissal” of officers Mark Gardner and Ivory Streeter, and it was determined that the officers would have their jobs reinstated and receive back pay according to the AJC.

Although former Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms fired the officers saying it was a clear use of excessive force. Mayor Lance Bottoms spoke out following the news in a statement. “While the Civil Service Board has reversed the termination of the officers, given the unrest across our city and nation at the time, and the disturbing video footage before us, I still believe that the right decision was made,” she said in a statement. “It is also important to note that the CSB did not say that the officers’ conduct was lawful. This incident, and others, have resulted in changes to our use-of-force policy, including de-escalation training and guidance on when and how to intervene in specific situations.”

Taniyah’s lawyer, Chris Stewart, gave his opinion about the officers returning to work and said the decision was “disappointing.” If you recall, Taniyah and Messiah were very emotional as they spoke out detailing the incident to CNN following the event. Messiah said he was shell shocked in the situation, with the mindset he wasn’t going to die today. He said,” Like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbory, this is why people are protesting. We see this literally daily. It’s not okay.”

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