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An Atlanta cop was caught on video kicking a handcuffed woman lying on the ground in the face, as another officer, standing directly next to the woman, watched and did nothing.
Video of the June 26 arrest surfaced Monday on Instagram, where it was posted by the account Atlanta Uncensored. It shows the woman immobilized by handcuffs with her face on the concrete. She looks up at a male cop, whom the Atlanta Police Department identified in a statement as a sergeant but did not name. The cop then kicks her jaw with his right foot.
The video shows the sergeant kicking her with enough force that he stumbles backward, while one other cop on the scene stands by and watches. The sergeant who kicked the woman has been placed on unpaid leave, and the officer who stood closest to her during the incident has been placed on administrative duty.
Another officer, who was not disciplined for the incident, is seen walking behind the squad car when the woman is kicked, according to the video.
“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,” Atlanta police said in a statement released Monday evening, after the video went viral that day. The release also stated that the police chief was made aware of the video Monday as well.
The woman’s arrest happened on June 26 at around 12:30 p.m., after she was allegedly walking around the Summerhill neighborhood of Atlanta and pointing a gun at multiple people, according to authorities. She was never charged for a crime, and cops said that when they arrived at the scene, they were concerned for her mental health and called for emergency medical services. After the recorded kicking incident, she was transported to the hospital for evaluation.
The Atlanta Police Department said it’s still investigating the incident and will do so in an “expedited” manner.
But local advocates say abuses of power by police aren’t uncommon in Atlanta, and that one investigation won’t change anything until institutional reform happens.
“The footage of an Atlanta police officer brutalizing a handcuffed woman is both disturbing and unsurprising,” Hannah Riley, communications director for the Southern Center for Human Rights, told VICE News in an email. “This video came to light just one day after Atlanta police killed a 38 year old man named Sam Parker. The quotidian violence of policing harms countless communities in Atlanta, day in and day out.”
Parker, a 38 year-old-father, was shot early in the morning on Sunday during a block party, according to local CBS 46. The block party hosted nearly 1,000 people and police responded to the area after gunshots were heard—witnesses say police shot Parker, who was a bystander, instead of the shooter.