Indictment against Georgia police charged with assaulting a college student after 2020 protests dropped

The arrest affidavits of six Atlanta police officers were dismissed on Monday after a circuit district attorney ruled that the officers acted in accordance with police orders. Two college students arrested The firing comes almost two years after a video of police beating students during their arrest sparked national outrage.

Officers Ivory Streeter, Lonnie Hood, Mark Gardner, Ronald Claud, Willie Sauls and Armond Jones were acquitted of all charges after an independent nine-month investigation into the case. Police officers’ actions were “commensurate with the force required to arrest them,” said interim Samir Patel, Atlanta Circuit District Attorney Interim Samir Patel.

Patel said in a statement that Messiah Young, 22, and Teniyah Pilgrim, 20, were violating the curfew and were contacted by officers on May 30, 2020 at around 9:44 p.m. He said police officers’ use of force was “a direct consequence”. About the “resistance and disobedience of police orders” the two claim.

Patel said, “The use of the Taser, and indeed any force used by officers, is also evident in the evidence that it was immediately terminated when Young and Ms. Pilgrim were subdued. In addition to the scope of their legal powers to act for compliance, their actions also depended on Atlanta,” Patel said. It also largely coincided with the police department’s own policy of using force.”

Young and Pilgrim drive away George Floyd protest CBS affiliate WGCL reported at the time when a group of police officers approached Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park after the 9pm curfew.

In the video, the officer instructed Young, who was in the driver’s seat, to keep moving. A few seconds later another officer tried to get Young out of the car. Young was able to drive the car, but later stopped along the road and could see the officers crowding the vehicles. Officers can be seen using tasers on both Pilgrim and Young. During the encounter, Young said he was dragged onto a pavement and punched at least 10 times.

Police body camera footage released by the Atlanta Police Department on Saturday, May 30, 2020 shows a police officer pointing a pistol at Messiah Young while a college student sits in a car in Atlanta.

AtAtlanta Police Department via AP, File

During the incident, the two students repeatedly asked the police what they had done wrong, the Associated Press reported. The pilgrim was caught by the police and released without charge, but Young is charged with running away from the scene and driving with an expired license. These charges were withdrawn by order of then-Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, WGCL reported.

Patel said Monday’s arrest video “does not accurately depict the entire encounter” between Young, Pilgrim and the police. He didn’t specify whether he was referring to the body camera footage or other footage that appeared online.

Pilgrim and Young’s lawyers told The Associated Press they were “incredibly disappointed and discouraged” about the couple’s decision to dismiss the charges.

“The world has witnessed an outrageous and unjustified level of violence against these college students. Would a broken arm and 25 needles be an appropriate response to allegations of curfew?” said the lawyers.

U.S. riots in Atlanta
Taniyah Pilgrim speaks while holding Messiah Young’s bandaged hand during a press conference on the campus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Monday, June 1, 2020.

John Baysmore / AP

The arrest scene added to the tension at the time. nationwide protests Discussion of race and police brutality.

After the initial incident, Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. published rates To all six police officers involved in the case. Two of the officers were initially fired from the Atlanta Police Department, but were reinstated following an investigation by the Civil Service Commission that the city had not followed the correct personnel procedures required to fire them. report last year.

Jordan Freiman contributed to the report.


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