Atlanta Civil Service Board reverse police officers' terminations

Investigator Mark Gardner and Inv. Ivory Streeter.

The City of Atlanta Civil Service Board reversed the terminations of two officers who were fired in May for the arrest of two college students in Downtown Atlanta for violating a citywide curfew.

Ivory Streeter and Mark Gardner were fired the day after they were seen on live television broadcast pulling a Spelman College student and Morehouse College student from a car in downtown Atlanta on May 30. The incident happened during the second night of protests over the death of George Floyd and the first night Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms implemented an executive order calling for a 9 p.m. citywide curfew.

Streeter and Gardner were working an arresting detail that night to enforce the curfew.

Both Streeter and Gardner were fired during a Zoom call the next day with the mayor, former Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, and the city lawyer.

The Civil Service Board found numerous violations of city policies and ordinances that led to a violation of the two officers' due process rights. 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.

Three other officers were assigned to desk duty following the incident. No word on their current status or the status of the criminal charges filed against six officers by former Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard. Howard was defeated by Fani Willis in November's election.

Lt. Gardner has been on the force for 23 years. Officer Streeter had been on the force for 17 years. Bother were police investigators.

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