By: Alyssa Wilson
A Black woman who attended a protest for George Floyd in Atlanta is suing the city after a police officer body-slammed her. The May 29, 2020 incident took place when Amber Jackson tried to get in her car and leave the protest.
The video of the incident went viral and shows Atlanta police officer Cody Swanger throwing the 24-year-old to the ground. Jackson’s attorney Mawuli Davis said his client and her boyfriend were leaving Lenox Square Mall. She then moved a barricade to get to her car. “They weren’t there to loot. They were there to protest. They were trying to leave the area and that’s why Amber moved the barricade,” Davis said at a press conference in May 2020.
Jackson was cited with disorderly conduct and her car was searched, Fox 5 Atlanta reported. Her clavicle was broken and she had to undergo surgery. A spokesperson with the Atlanta Police Department said Jackson didn’t listen to the officer’s orders to get out of the car.
Witnesses contradict the police’s statement, saying Jackson followed orders and never tried to leave the mall. Heather Upham, who filmed the encounter, said, “I did hear them tell her to get out of the car. They appeared to be cooperating as far as I could tell.”
After the incident, the officer involved was put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. The status of his employment at this time is unknown.
This is not the only lawsuit against Atlanta and its police relating to protests in 2020. Two students filed a federal lawsuit against the city, the police and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms after being pulled from their car and tased by police. Davis is also representing one of the students involved in this lawsuit.
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