The mayor of Atlanta said two police officers have been fired and three others relegated to desk duty for excessive use of force during a protest incident.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced on Sunday that two officers were no longer with the police force after body camera footage showed them arresting two college students in a manner that was “really shocking to watch.”
The incident came to light after footage of it was circulated online. In the video, a group of police officers in riot gear can be seen approaching a vehicle that a man was driving with a woman sitting in the passenger seat. The officers proceeded to pull the woman out of the car and put zip-ties around her wrists while they appeared to use a stun gun on the man. The pair did not seem to be fighting the police.
#BREAKING: 2 Atlanta Police officers fired after video showed them using “excessive force” in the arrest of two college students Saturday night, the Mayor says.
The arrest was reportedly due to disregarding curfew & orders from police.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 31, 2020
“There clearly was an excessive use of force. We understand that our officers are working very long hours under an enormous amount of stress, but we also understand that the use of excessive force is never acceptable,” Bottoms said, noting that she made the decision to fire the officers alongside Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields.
A review will be conducted into the incident, and the three other officers will remain on desk duty until it is completed. Charges have been dropped against the woman arrested in the incident, and the man has been released.
As some protests across the nation following the death of George Floyd in police custody have turned violent, police have clashed with protesters and reporters, deploying rubber bullets and tear gas at both. The violence has led to mayors to issue curfews and deploy the National Guard. On Friday, Bottoms pleaded with demonstrators to stay home after buildings and businesses in Atlanta were looted and vandalized.
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