Six Atlanta police officers will face charges for an incident in which they tased two college students and removed them from their car during protests over the death of unarmed black man George Floyd.
Police bodycam video shows officers on Saturday stopping the car, relaying orders and firing a taser gun into the vehicle carrying 20-year-old Taniyah Pilgrim and 22-year-old Messiah Young.
The officers are also seen breaking the driver side window where Young was sitting, tasing him and pulling him out of the car.
There is no sign that either student resisted or posed any threat.
On Monday, Pilgrim, who is dating Young, called the incident traumatic: “I am very shaken up.
I don’t even know how to act, what to do.
I just can’t stop thinking about if cameras weren’t there, if they went a little further, I can’t stop thinking about what could’ve happened.” Young said the incident has taken an emotional toll: “Honestly, this has probably been one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced in my life… This isn’t just about me, this isn’t just about us, this is an entire generation that has to deal with brutality and injustice because the color of their skin or what they prefer.” On Sunday, two of the officers were fired, and two days later the Fulton County District Attorney said he would seek a prison sentence for all six - with charges ranging from aggravated assault to criminal damage to Pilgrim's car.
The Atlanta Police Department did not respond to a request for comment on the charges.
Pilgrim and Young - who attend historically black Spelman and Morehouse colleges - on Tuesday said they were pleased with the move, but hoped their encounter would lead to serious police reform.
(Pilgrim): “I am so happy that they were held accountable for their actions because there was not one justifiable thing.” (Young): “I feel a little safer now that these monsters are off of the street and no longer able to terrorize anyone else.
Moving forward we need to make sure that all officers are held accountable and that there is really change moving forward within the culture of police reform”.
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