A white Atlanta Police Department officer seen in a viral cellphone video slamming Maggie Thomas to the ground and shocking her with a stun gun, in front of her 4-year-old daughter, over a warrant for a speeding ticket has been fired.
The incident started when Sgt. James Hines was patrolling and drove behind Maggie Thomas’ apartment at around 8 p.m. on May 1.
A witness started recording with a cellphone after Hines told Thomas she was under arrest for having an outstanding traffic warrant.
Her attorney, Gerald A. Griggs, shared the video on Twitter:
On May 1, 2018, Maggie Thomas was punched in the face, body slammed, and tased multiple times by an Atlanta Police Officer in Zone 6 in front of her four year-child. She was contacted by Police for a simple speeding ticket. #MaggieThomas #justicefighter #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/24h58CT6Yy
— Gerald A. Griggs (@AttorneyGriggs) May 11, 2019
Police said that on May 10 they were made aware of the accusations of excessive force after the violent arrest of Thomas.
“Accordingly, the Chief of Police directed the Office of Professional Standards to immediately begin investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident,” the police department said in a statement. “Following its investigation, the Office of Professional Standards determined that the force used during the arrest was unnecessary and inconsistent with Atlanta Police Department training. Subsequently, Sergeant Hines was dismissed from employment on May 17, 2019.”
Maggie Thomas said when watching the video of the incident, “I felt a little helpless that I wasn’t able to protect my daughter.”
She continued, “That’s what parents are for, to protect and provide.”
— Gerald A. Griggs (@AttorneyGriggs) May 21, 2019
The city solicitor dismissed the charges against Maggie Thomas on Monday. She told WSB-TV that she couldn’t celebrate the dropped charges because of how her daughter, Marlee, was impacted by the violent arrest.
“I couldn’t console her and comfort her at the time. That’s the worst part of it,” she said.