June 3, 2020

Six Atlanta police officers were charged yesterday after pulling two college students out of a car, smashing its windows and using a Taser in the course of a bogus arrest. (You can watch the ABC News video above.) We hear stories like this all the time lately, but this one really struck me because the victims are so clearly traumatized, it broke my heart even more because it happened in Atlanta, which has such a good reputation as a place for young black professionals.

Which is probably why Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young chose to attend Spelman College and Morehouse College, the two famous HBCUs. The schools famously attract young black achievers.

They have been making the rounds of the news shows with their attorney, and they appeared on New Day this morning.

"To you, Messiah, and to to you, Taniyah, have you ever seen that video of what happened to you that night?" Alysin Camerota said.

"I have not tried to relive that moment at this point. It's a little too much right now. I'd rather just, you know, recover, honestly," the student said.

Pilgrim said she has seen the videos.

"They just terrify me. It's literally, in the moment, you know, I literally think 'this is the end.' Rewatching the videos, I guess you see why I have the fear in me. It was so uncalled for and so unexpected," she said.

Camerota said she can't get past how aggressive and violent the attack was and asked Young if he has any idea why.

"The main reason why, I understand is, I think people were trying to document what was happening to our friend. -- was being brutally manhandled and attacked. We just needed to document this moment. If anything happened to him, you know, there would be some type of backup for him," he said.

Young described his injuries. "All over my body. My wrist is cracked. I have 20 stitches in my forearm. I have bruises all over my ribs. And I had a Taser in my back for about eight hours."

A visibly upset Camerota asked if he remembered being tased.

"Probably one of the hardest moments I've had to face in my life. I just can't even fathom what happened. At this point, I'm just so far gone, it's like I'm trying to remove myself from that situation. It's really hard to cope with," he said.

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