ATLANTA — Six Atlanta Police officers now stand charged in the violent detainment of two college students in Saturday night's protests downtown.
Lawyers say those students, Taniyah Pilgrim of Spelman College and Messiah Young of Morehouse College, have become victims of what started the protesting in the first place - the over-aggressive policing and profiling of black people.
The incident has served as a flashpoint in the protest movement locally, and elicited an apology from Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields. Two officers, Mark Gardner and Ivory Streeter, have already been fired.
With the charges announced Tuesday, 11Alive obtained warrants that outline exactly how each officer is charged, and how a fellow Atlanta Police investigator characterized their actions.
- Ivory Streeter: Faces aggravated assault and pointing or aiming gun or pistol at another. The warrant for Streeter's aggravated assault charge says he "intentionally and without justification used a deadly weapon, a Taser, against Messiah Young, which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury." His pointing a gun warrant states he "intentionally and without justification pointed or aimed, a hand gun, at Messiah Young, whether the gun was loaded or unloaded."
- Mark Gardner: The other fired officer faces one aggravated assault charge. The warrant for him states, as it did for Streeter, that he "intentionally and without justification used a deadly weapon, a Taser," against Taniyah Pilgrim.
- Armon Jones: His aggravated battery charge says he "caused bodily harm to another, Messiah Young, by depriving him of a member of his body, by rendering a member of his body useless, his left arm, when he dragged Messiah Young from a parked vehicle and slammed him into a paved street." Young was seen at a press conference yesterday wearing a cast on the arm. Jones also faces a point or aiming a gun charge.
- Lonnie Hood: Hood, alone among the officers facing three charges, two aggravated assault charges for using a Taser against both Young and Pilgrim. A third charge, simple battery, states he "intentionally and without justification made physical contact with Taniyah Pilgrim, of an insulting or provoking nature, by violently pulling Taniyah Pilgrim out of a parked vehicle and throwing Taniyah Pilgrim down onto the paved street."
- Willie Sauls: He faces aggravated assault charge similar to the others, though his warrant states he "pointed a deadly weapon, a Taser, at Tanniyah Pilgrim," rather than used, as the warrants state for the other officers. He also faces a criminal damage charge which states he "intentionally and without justification damaged the property of another person without her consent and the damage thereto is less than $500.00, by repeatedly striking and caused damage to the driver's front window of a 2017 Black Mazda belonging to Taniyah Pilgrim, with an expandable asp baton."
- Roland Claud: Claud faces the least serious accusation among the officers, a criminal damage charge which states he damaged Pilgrim's car "by breaking the windows, with a window punch."
Photos: Atlanta Police officers charged
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