Students pulled from car, stunned by Atlanta police sue

ATLANTA — Two students pulled from their car and hit with stun guns by Atlanta police while they were stuck in traffic caused by protests over George Floyd’s death sued the city Thursday and several of the officers, their attorneys said.

Police body camera footage showed officers shouting at Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young, firing Tasers at them and dragging them from the car last May during a curfew declared by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The federal lawsuit also names Bottoms as a defendant. An email to her office was not immediately returned.

The pair — students at historically Black colleges in Atlanta — can be heard screaming and asking what they did wrong throughout the confrontation. Young was punched repeatedly and suffered a deep laceration to his arm that required 13 stitches, according to his attorneys.

Video of the confrontation was shared widely online. Bottoms and then-Police Chief Erika Shields decided the two officers had used excessive force and must be fired immediately, though those decisions were overturned earlier this year.

Prosecutors have filed criminal charges against six officers in the incident.

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