UPDATE: Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced on Sunday night (May 31) that two of the officers responsible for tasering and arresting a couple driving in their car, not breaking any laws, during Saturday night's protests have been fired. Bottoms says one of the officers has been on the force for 16 years, and the other for 20. She also says the three other officers involved have been placed on desk duty.
See Mayor Bottoms' press conference in full, below:
🚨BREAKING🚨 Mayor @KeishaBottoms announces the termination of 2 Atlanta Police Department officers involved in last nights incident with Morehouse and Spelman college students. pic.twitter.com/rZ4udbur4U— Francesca Amiker (@FranTVHost) May 31, 2020
Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced a 9:00 PM curfew Saturday night (May 30) in response to growing protests and unrest over the police killing of George Floyd.
In response to Friday night’s demonstrations and the destructive acts of some, the mayor issued a statement Saturday afternoon calling for peace and asking protestors to return to their homes.
“What we saw overnight was not a protest, and it was not Atlanta. We as a people are strongest when we use our voices to heal our city instead of using our hands to tear it down. 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.
Peaceful demonstrations throughout the city Saturday night were marred by police violence after governor Brian Kemp dispatched 1,400 National Guard troops with 100 military humvees.
One particularly brutal assault of two Morehouse and Spelman college students was captured on live TV as police are seen attacking two college students in their car.
The disturbing video of the young couple being assaulted as they were making their way home in midtown Atlanta soon went viral on social media.
The assault was broadcast live on CBS-46 and was uploaded by a Twitter user @imactuallynina.
Here is the video. On LIVE TV the APD just broke car windows, slashed tires, tazed both passengers and arrested both passengers for NOTHING. RIPPED THEM OUT OF THER CAR. #AtlantaRiots #ATLFORUS #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/9XFDEdq7qr— blm (@imactuallynina) May 31, 2020
According to a GoFundMe set up for Messiah Young and Taniyah Pilgrim’s bail by Samaiya Butler, the couple was stopped by Atlanta police at 9:30 PM. In the video, officers can be seen breaking the car windows, slashing the tires, tasering and arresting them.
An update posted today read: “As of yesterday, Taniyah was released and is now home with a family member. Messiah is still in custody at the Fulton County Jail. He is being charged with eluding/flee police and driving without a license. His court hearing is today at 2pm.”
The Spelman College student government association released a statement of support on social media.
Spelman SGA stands in solidarity with Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young.— Spelman College SGA (@SpelmanSGA) May 31, 2020
We will continue to keep you updated.
Please take care of your mental health tonight, AUC family. #Redefined79 #StudentsLikeYou pic.twitter.com/o5JNs6UwxZ
Morehouse College’s student newspaper, The Maroon Tiger, also released a statement.
We stand in solidarity with our AUC siblings Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young as well as all of the countless others affected by these senseless racially charged acts. All Black Lives Matter, now and forever. 🖤 pic.twitter.com/dj0ZWGh4nv— The Maroon Tiger (@themaroontiger) May 31, 2020
BET has been covering every angle of George Floyd’s death in police custody, other social justice cases and the subsequent aftermath and protests. For our continuing coverage, click here.
Photo credit: @imactuallynina, CNN