ATLANTA - The Atlanta Police Department has placed a sergeant and another officer on unpaid leave after a video surfaced on social media showing what police describe as the "sergeant kicking a woman in her head."
The department said Chief Rodney Bryant and other commanders became aware of the video on Monday and took swift action to address it.
"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," a statement from the APD reads in part. "The decision was made to immediately relieve the sergeant and the officer from duty and place the sergeant on unpaid suspension."
The video, which was posted to the Atlanta Uncensored Instagram page, shows a woman on the ground, on her stomach, in handcuffs. Another officer was seen in the video standing nearby. The woman appears like she might have spit in the officer’s direction and that is when she gets the foot to the side of her face.
The identity of the sergeant and the other officer has not been released.
"Shocked and angered," said Gerald Griggs, vice president of Atlanta NAACP. "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."
Chief Bryant directed the Atlanta Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards to investigate the actions of all the employees who were on the scene at the time.
"The actions of those in the video appear to fall outside our standards and training," a statement from the department reads in part. "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."
"It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. But we understand there are policies and procedures that have to be followed, due process has to be followed, so we understand that. At no point should a citizen of Atlanta be kicked in the face while they’re handcuffed," Griggs said.
The Atlanta Police Department came under fire earlier this year after a handful of fired officers, including two charged with murder in the death of Rayshard Brooks were reinstated by the Atlanta Civil Service Board after a review of their case determined the department did not afford them their due process.
"We think the ultimate punishment, termination should happen. But the other officers we do believe there should be some strict punishment as well," Griggs said.
The woman’s name and reason for her being handcuff have not been released by the police.
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