Two Atlanta Police Department officers who were fired after using their tasers on two college students during the aftermath last summer’s protests of the death of Geore Floyd downtown were reinstated on Monday.
The Atlanta Civil Service Board ruled that the city “did not follow the personnel regulations of the Atlanta Code of Ordinances in the dismissal” of officers Mark Gardner and Ivory Streeter.
The incident went viral via cell phone video on May 31st and cause national outrage over the handling of Spelman College student Taniyah Pilgrim, 20, and Morehouse College student Messiah Young, 22. Lance LoRusso, the lawyer representing the officers, The students were guilty of violating a 9 p.m. curfew and the officers “feared there was a gun inside the vehicle” but later determined that not to be true.
During a press conference the following day, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced their dismissal.
“There clearly was an excessive use of force,” Bottoms told reporters, “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.”
Gardner had been with Atlanta Police Department for 23 years; Streeter had been for 16. They are now eligible to return to their jobs.