ATLANTA — Two Atlanta police officers who were fired for excessive force last summer have had their terminations reversed, according to attorney, Lance LoRusso. Mark Gardner and Ivory Streeter were fired for pulling two college students from a car and deploying a Taser on them during protests. As a result, they filed a lawsuit against Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and then Police Chief Erika Shields, as Law Officer reported last year. (Shields has since moved on to the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department.)
The lawsuit accuses the City of Atlanta and its Police Department of firing the officers in violation of the city’s code, without investigation, proper notice, or a pre-disciplinary hearing.
LoRusso tweeted the announcement Monday afternoon.
“We are pleased to announce that @CityofAtlanta Civil Service Board issued a decision today reversing the @Atlanta_Police terminations of BOTH Gardner & Streeter!”
We are pleased to announce that @CityofAtlanta Civil Service Board issued a decision today reversing the @Atlanta_Police terminations of BOTH Gardner & Streeter!
— Lance LoRusso (@bluelinelawyer) February 1, 2021
Shortly after the encounter, Bottoms and Shields said they reviewed body camera footage from the May 30, 2020 incident and decided to fire the officers and place three others on desk duty.
Former Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard filed criminal charges on June 2 against Gardner, Streeter and four other officers involved in the incident, Law Officer reported.
The Civil Service Board found numerous violations of city policies and ordinances that led to a violation of the two officers’ due process rights, FOX5 Atlanta reported. The board found several steps were missing despite COVID-19 protocols being put into place. Among those steps were giving written notice with a “sufficient written description” of the incident and suspension prior to termination to allow for the officers to respond.