Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said June 2 that six Atlanta police officers will be charged for using excessive force during the arrest of two college students during protests.
The officers were seen in Atlanta breaking the windows of a vehicle before tasing a man and pulling out a woman.
Arrest warrants were issued for Lonnie Hood, Willie Sauls, Ivory Streeter, Mark Gardner, Armond Jones, and Roland Claud. The charges include aggravated assault of Messiah Young, aggravated assault of Taniyah Pilgrim, simple battery, and criminal damage to property, Howard told reporters.
Two of the officers, Streeter and Gardner, were fired over the weekend by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms.
Howard said that the students involved were “innocent,” adding that an “investigation concluded they were so innocent almost to the point of being naive.”
“The conduct in this incident isn’t indicative of the way we treat people in the city of Atlanta and it certainly isn’t indicative of how we treat our children,” he said, without elaborating.
Howard said that the officers have until June 5 to surrender, and they’re being held on a $10,000 signature cash bond each.
Over the weekend, Bottoms said she opposes acts of violence that were carried out during protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
“We as a people are strongest when we use our voices to heal our city instead of using our hands to tear it down,” Bottoms said. “We know our citizens are angry. We are angry and we want justice. If we are to enact change in this nation, I implore everyone to channel their anger and sorrow into something more meaningful and effective through non-violent activism.”
She added that recent unrest “was not a protest.”
“You are disgracing our city. You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country,” Bottoms said. “We are better than this. We are better than this as a city. We are better than this as a country. Go home.”
Meanwhile, Gov. Brian Kemp mobilized about 3,000 National Guard troops in the state, CBS46 reported.
President Donald Trump also increased the pressure on governors to crack down on rioters, demanding New York call up the National Guard to stop the “lowlifes and losers.”