Atlanta officers fired for tasing college students sue mayor, police chief for wrongful termination

Mark Gardner, left, and Ivory Streeter, right, were fired over accusations they used excessive force during the arrest of two college students during protests in Atlanta. (Photos/Atlanta Police Department via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:53 AM PT — Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Two former Atlanta police officers are seeking their jobs back after being fired for allegedly tasing two college students during protests. This comes as Ivory Streeter and Mark Gardner filed a lawsuit Monday against Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields and Mayor Keisha Bottom.

Authorities have claimed their use of force was lawful. They also claimed they were fired without a thorough investigation and per-termination hearing, which are required under city code.

“These guys deserve the best…these guys are the highest trained people in the department…the most loyal people in the department,” said Jason Segura, President of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers. “And they have the city turn their back on them, it’s devastating.”

Late last month, body-cam footage showed Streeter and Gardner allegedly pulling Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young from a car. Shortly after that, they began tasing them.

The college students claimed they were stopped in traffic amid protests regarding police brutality. The next day, Mayor Bottom announced the immediate firing of the officers.

“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,” she stated.

Shortly after their firing, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard charged the two officers with aggravated assault, which is a move deemed “political” by Chief Shields. She questioned the timing and appropriateness of the criminal charges, and claimed the handling of protests would be more difficult as a result.

The conduct involved in this incident, it is not indicative of the way that we treat people in Atlanta and it certainly is not indicative of the way that we treat out children,” Howard stated.

Meanwhile, Streeter and Gardner are seeking full reinstatement to the police force and are requesting full back-pay as well as benefits for time lost.

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