Recorded on video kicking a handcuffed woman in the head, an Atlanta police sergeant was recently suspended while an officer who failed to intervene was placed on administrative assignment.
Around 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Atlanta police officers responded to a call concerning a woman aiming a gun at several people according to a statement from the Atlanta Police Department. After detaining the woman and locating an unloaded handgun, officers requested transport to a local hospital to evaluate her mental health and decided not to press charges against her.
According to a video posted to Instagram on Monday, the woman was detained on the ground with her hands cuffed behind her back when a police sergeant kicked the side of her head. The sergeant kicked her for reportedly spitting on his pants and boots.
A female officer standing beside the sergeant appeared to be placing gloves on her hands when the sergeant kicked the woman. The female cop made no effort to prevent the use of excessive force or intervene in any way.
At 5:26 p.m., the Atlanta Police Department released the following statement: “Upon reviewing the video, the actions of the sergeant appear to be unacceptable and we are also concerned with the apparent lack of reaction from another officer present during the incident. The decision was made to immediately relieve both employees from duty, with the sergeant placed on unpaid suspension and the officer placed on administrative assignment. The Atlanta Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards (OPS) was directed to open an investigation into the actions of all employees on-scene and their investigation is to be expedited.
“The actions of those in the video appear to fall outside our standards and training. However, it is important for the Office of Professional Standards to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the facts surrounding this incident. Chief Bryant will monitor the progress of this expedited investigation and review the findings to determine the proper course of action.”
“Shocked and angered,” said Gerald Griggs, vice president of Atlanta NAACP, in response to the video. “You know we’ve been talking about community-police relations for a long time in Atlanta. And to see something like that, a handcuffed individual kicked in the face, nothing justifies that. So, you know, the NAACP got involved, started investigating, reached out to the police chief, made contact with the family, and ultimately we’re trying to get to the bottom of what happened.”
The Atlanta Police Department has not yet released the names of the police officer, sergeant, or the victim who was not charged with a crime.