Despite a nation enraged over police abuse, a group of Atlanta cops did not hesitate to abuse their power against two young black college students Saturday night as news cameras broadcasted live to the world, pulling the students out of a car after shattering their windows, flattening their tires and tasering the driver.
“He got a gun. He got a gun. He got a gun,” a cop yells as police taser Messiah Young, a 22-year-old student from Morehouse College but there is no evidence he ever had a gun.
Two of the cops have been fired for deploying their tasers. Another three have been reassigned to desk duty.
Initially it was reported that Young and his passenger, Taniyah Pilgrim, 20, who attends Spelman College, had been violating curfew. But if that was the case, then it was very selectively enforced considering the streets and sidewalks were filled with cars and people.
Then police tried to spin the story by claiming Young had refused to stop his car when a cop was in the roadway, the usual bullshit about them fearing for their lives. They also claimed Young “reached” for a gun which made them fear even more for their lives but that turned out to be bullshit as well.
What really took place was that the cops did not appreciate being recorded as they aggressively arrested their friend for what appears to be nothing more than standing in the street talking to them as their car remained stuck in traffic following a protest they had attended.
Police body cam video shows their friend pleading with cops not to arrest him but the cops are in full-predator mode with their gas masks and zip-tie handcuffs and wolf pack mentality, forcing him on the ground so they can plant their knees on his back.
Meanwhile, Young is recording from his car because traffic was not moving anyway. A cop who is standing in front of him, blocking his shot, then walks up and opens his door.
“You want to go to jail?” the cop asks but Young drives a few feet forward, forcing the door shut.
“I’m not dying today,” he repeatedly tells him as the cop mocks him for being stuck in traffic.
“Where you going to go?” the cop asks.
“Let him go,” Young tells the cop referring to his friend getting arrested.
A few seconds later as Young’s car is idling in the inside lane, a cop sneaks up on the car and yanks the door open but Young once again drives a few feet ahead.
The cops then all start running up to the car with one cop excitedly exclaiming that “he can’t go nowhere!”
They begin their attack as soon as they reach his car, smashing his windows and flattening his tires – all while local media live streamed to the world.
The initial videos, posted below, quickly went viral under the assumption the students had stayed out past curfew. Then cops gave their spin to the media.
But that was not enough to satisfy Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom who on Sunday ordered two of the cops fired and another three placed on desk duty. The two cops who were fired, Ivory Streeter and Mark Gardner, were apparently the only ones who used their tasers. Gardner claimed in his report he fired his taser because he kept hearing the word “gun.”
According to the New York Times:
Two police officers have been fired and three others placed on desk duty over excessive use of force during a protest arrest incident involving two college students, Atlanta’s mayor said Sunday.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news conference that she and police Chief Erika Shields made the decision after reviewing body-camera footage of a Saturday night incident that first gained attention from video online and on local news.
“Use of excessive force is never acceptable,” Bottoms told reporters. Shields called the footage “really shocking to watch.”
Police on Sunday night identified the fired officers as Investigator Ivory Streeter, who was hired in December 2003, and Investigator Mark Gardner, who was hired in August 1997.
Bottoms said the woman, Taniyah Pilgrim, was released without charges. She said the man, Messiah Young, was released, too, and she’s ordering the charges against him dropped. She didn’t specify what charges he faced. A police report says Young was charged with attempting to elude police and driving with a suspended license.
Watch the edited bodycam footage above which includes a news clip with the cop version of what took place. Below are the videos that were live streamed to the world as the scene exploded right in front of their cameras. The final video below is from a cop’s body cam who was terrorizing Pilgrim from the passenger side of the car.