The officer who was observed kicking a woman laying on the ground in the head has been arrested, as has the second officer who was present at the time. Officer Bridge Citizen and Sgt. Marc Theodule were suspended after the Atlanta Police Department labeled Theodule’s behavior as “inappropriate,” and his suspension was without pay.
According to the APD, “after watching the video, the sergeant’s actions appear to be improper, and we are also concerned with the apparent lack of reaction from another officer present throughout the incident.” After being shared on @atluncensored’s Instagram account on Monday, the video quickly went viral.
Despite the fact that Theodule kicked the woman, Ashley Cooley, the department said its superiors were concerned by Citizen’s “lack of reaction.” Citizen joined the force in 2006, while Theodule was sworn in in 2009.
Alexis Johnson, Cooley’s sister, stated on Tuesday that her sister was not in her right mind at the time of the attack. “You felt compelled to kick a lady. You’re a whole man. At a press conference, she stated, “You felt the need to kick a woman in the face.”
According to a statement from the department, “the decision was made to immediately dismiss the sergeant and the officer from duty and place the sergeant on unpaid suspension.” “The Office of Professional Standards (OPS) of the Atlanta Police Department has been directed to launch an inquiry into the behavior of all workers on-scene, and their probe is to be expedited.”
Theodule and Citizen stand nearby as a handcuffed Cooley lies handcuffed on the ground on her stomach. Cooley was kicked in the side of the head as she lifted her head and spat on Theodule.
Authorities responded to complaints of a lady brandishing a gun at multiple persons on Haygood Avenue in the Peoplestown neighborhood, according to authorities. Officers detained Cooley after becoming concerned about her mental state and requesting that she be sent to the hospital for evaluation. She hasn’t been charged with anything.
The footage “shocked and enraged” Gerald Griggs, vice president of the NAACP’s Atlanta branch, who told Fox 5 that “at no point should a citizen of Atlanta be kicked in the face while they’re handcuffed.”
Griggs also represents Cooley, who has stated that she suffers from mental illness. When it comes to dealing with persons with mental health issues, Cooley believes officers “need more training,” and she told WSB she wants the officers convicted. Cooley’s mental issues, according to Griggs, should be addressed by the city.