ATLANTA - The Atlanta Police Department is responding to the Atlanta Civil Service Board’s decision to reverse 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.
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.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Atlanta Police Department wrote:
"The Civil Service Board (CSB) has reversed the terminations of Investigator Mark Gardner and Investigator Ivory Streeter only on the basis that they were not done in accordance with the Atlanta City Code. It is important to note that the CSB did not make a determination as to whether the investigators violated Atlanta Police Department policies. In light of the CSB’s rulings, APD will conduct an assessment to determine if additional investigative actions are needed."
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.
APD said the two will remain on administrative leave until those charges are resolved.
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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