Mark Gardner Bio, Wiki
Mark Gardner is one of the police who was fired on May 31st from the Atlanta Police Department for using excessive force during an arrest on the night of May 30th. The other officer is Ivory Streeter. APD Bodycam footage from the two officers reveals that they both discharged their tasers during the violent arrests of Messiah Young and Taniyah Pilgrim on Saturday night May 30th. Three additional officers were placed on desk duty until the incident is investigated further.
— Austin Kellerman (@AustinKellerman) May 31, 2020
Mark Gardner APD
Gardner began his career with APD in August 1997. The two officers were investigators with APD’s Fugitive Unit and were on the scene assisting with civil disturbances, according to police records. The arrests were caught on video and viewed upwards of 1.5 million times on social media.
Mark Gardner Report after the arrest
In Gardner’s report, he claims to have heard the word “gun” two or three times before he discharged his taser at Pilgrim. The presence of a gun in the car has not been confirmed by authorities. One account claiming there was a gun has been retracted as it emerged that Taniyah Pilgrim was reaching for his phone.
In his report, Streeter claims that Young grabbed near his right hip before Streeter discharged his taser. According to his report, Streeter then saw an additional officer remove a firearm from the car.
Atlanta Mayor in Press Briefing Confirmed their Firing
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced on May 31st that two Atlanta police officers had been fired for using excessive force during the arrest of two college students on Saturday night. In her announcement, Bottoms described, “a very disturbing video of two young college students who were in downtown Atlanta yesterday evening.”
“We understand that our officers are working very long hours under an enormous amount of stress, but we also understand that the use of excessive force is never acceptable,” Bottoms said. “After reviewing of that footage, Chief Shields and I have made the determination that two of the officers involved in the incident last night will be terminated immediately.”
Messiah Young and Taniyah Pilgrim Arrests Were Recorded Live on Television
On Saturday night ay 30th, Messiah Young, a student at Morehouse College, and Taniyah Pilgrim, a student at Spelman College, were arrested after a 9 p.m. curfew went into effect throughout Atlanta earlier that evening. During their arrest, Pilgrim was pulled from a vehicle screaming before officers forced her onto the ground where her hands were cuffed behind her back. Young was also pulled from the car and arrested. The two students appeared to have been tased during the arrest and reporters claim that police slashed their tires. The arrest took place live on television, prompting an outcry for justice.
The Spelman College Student Gov Pilgrimernment Association in tweet spoke out against the arrests, writing that is was “deeply disturbed at the excessive force that the Atlanta Police Department exercised against our Spelman sister, Taniyah Pilgrim, and Morehouse brother, Messiah Young.”
Spelman SGA stands in solidarity with Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young.
We will continue to keep you updated.
— Spelman College SGA (@SpelmanSGA) May 31, 2020
Friends organized a GoFundMe page immediately after the arrests to pay for bail for Pilgrim and Young. In the comments on the page, one of them claims that Pilgrim was released from jail and is home with a family member while Young remains in custody at the Fulton County Jail until his hearing.
The Source wrote that Young suffered an epileptic episode after he was tased, and he was taken to the hospital before he was processed at the jail.