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Atlanta officers charged with assault after video of them using stun guns on black students

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms already announced the termination of two of the six officers, calling bodycam footage of the incident “disturbing.”
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Six Atlanta police officers were charged on Tuesday after bodycam footage showed them using stun guns in the detainment of a young black man and woman who were in a car during protests on Saturday night.

Video showed officers forcibly pulling Messiah Young and Taniyah Pilgrim from their car at around 9:40 p.m. Saturday night. Pilgrim is heard in the video asking officers what is going on and crying that she is trying to get out of the car before she is apparently hit with the electric current of a stun gun.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the termination of two officers involved in the incident on Sunday, calling the video of the arrest “disturbing on many levels.”

NBC News cannot confirm what happened before the video.

The six officers — Armond Jones, Mark Gardner, Ivory Streeter, Lonnie Hood, Roland Claud and Willie Sauls — are facing various charges, according to documents from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. The prosecutor's officer said they have until Friday to turn themselves in.

Hood is facing two charges of aggravated assault for his alleged use of a stun gun on the students as well as a charge of simple battery. Gardner is also facing a single charge of aggravated assault. Streeter is facing a charge of aggravated assault and a charge of pointing or aiming a gun at another.

Claud is charged with a single count of criminal damage for allegedly breaking the window of the car with a window punch. Sauls is also charged with one count each of aggravated assault and criminal damage.

Jones is charged with aggravated assault for allegedly dragging Young from the vehicle and slamming him to the ground. He is also facing a charge of pointing or aiming a gun at another.

Bottoms said Pilgrim was released without charges and that she is ordering the charges against Young dropped, but did not specify what he was charged with.

Young is a student at Morehouse College while Pilgrim is a student Spelman College, both historically black institutions. The two said they were in shock from the incident, according to NBC affiliate WXIA.

"I'm very shaken up, I don't know how to act or what to do," Pilgrim said. "I just can't stop thinking about if cameras weren't there or if they would have went a little bit further — I can't stop thinking about what could have happened."

Young said the incident was larger than just him or Pilgrim, but defining of his generation.

“This is an entire generation that has to deal with brutality and injustice and wrong-doing for nothing because of the color of their skin or simply because what they prefer,” Young said.

Spellman College’s student government released a statement in support of Pilgrim and Young on Sunday, denouncing the actions of the Atlanta police officers.

“Enough is enough. Let us continue Spelman’s legacy of civil rights by holding our public and private institutions accountable in condemning the morally repugnant actions of the Atlanta Police Department and police brutality across our nation,” the statement said.

Morehouse College President David A. Thomas released a statement in support of peaceful protest on Sunday.

“Peaceful protests have created important change and reform in this country and Morehouse has played an important role in creating social justice for our communities for generations,” Thomas said.

A spokeswoman for Morehouse was not immediately available for comment.