ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- The City of Atlanta continues to face an uphill battle as alleged police brutality and shootings continue. Two Atlanta police officers are on leave after video shows them kicking a woman in the face, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into a police-involved shooting.
Family members of Gabriel "Sam" Parker and Ashley Cooley spoke at a press conference in front of City Hall on July 24, 2021. "He was a victim of violence, and he should have been protected, not murdered,"said Takita Davis, Gabriel Parker's cousin. "We now have a 12-year-old second cousin who now doesn't have a father," she said, referring to Parker's daughter.
Witnesses say Parker was shot and killed while breaking up a fight and as police were responding to an exchange of gunfire. The witnesses blame police for his death and said Parker was left lying on the ground for hours. Investigators say they're looking into who fired the fatal shot.
Video of an Atlanta police officer shown kicking Cooley, who family members say has mental health problems, went viral on social media. Police Chief Rodney Bryant suspended that officer and a second one who was at the scene. "We are better than kicking handcuffed people in the head. We are better than further escalating violence in the community," said Devin Barrington-Ward, a candidate for the Atlanta City Council's District 9 seat. "What good will more officers do if we don't heal the trust deficit that we have between the community and policing," said Post 1 Citywide City Council Candidate Alfred Shivy Brooks.
"It's not an anti-police thing. It's a pro-justice thing. It's time for our elected officials to charge these police officers," said Attorney Gerald Griggs. "We have to pull together, and we have to stand together, and we have to hold those accountable for what they're responsible for," said Gary Stokes, a community advocate.
They're demanding justice and charges against all of the officers involved, better mental health services and a duty to intervene. Neither APD nor the city were able to immediately respond to CW69's request for comment. Both said they were looking into these issues.
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