Woman kicked in head by officer says police need more training to help mentally ill

ATLANTA — The woman who was kicked in the head by an Atlanta police officer in a video that went viral told Channel 2 Action News that she wants the officers charged.

The woman, Ashley Cooley, told Channel 2′s Tom Jones on Tuesday that she has mental issues and officers knew that.

Members of the media saw Cooley explode at her entourage at a news conference at City Hall.

“Everybody be quiet. Please be quiet. I don’t need nobody in my ear. Please be quiet. Y’all wasn’t out there with me. I was out there by myself,” Cooley said.

She was angry and said this before she left the podium.

“Rise the (expletive) up. Defund the police.”

Her attorney, Gerald Griggs, said she needs help and the city can do better when it comes to helping and not hurting people with mental issues.

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“As we can see my client is in mental health distress,” Griggs said.

Cooley’s sister Alexis Johnson said she wasn’t in her right mind when the officer kicked her Monday afternoon.

The video went viral on social media.

Johnson told Jones that it all started when officers responded to reports that Cooley was waving a gun at the Stanton Oaks Apartments.

“Even then, she got on her knees and put her hands behind her back and said 10-13.”

Ten-13 is the police call for imminent danger to yourself or others.

Johnson said her sister was handcuffed when she spat on the officer. She told Jones she couldn’t believe how the officer responded.

“You felt the need to kick a woman. You’re a whole man. You felt the need to kick a woman in her face,” Johnson said.

Police suspended the sergeant without pay. A second officer was placed on administrative duty.

“They need more training,” Cooley said.

Cooley said the department needs officers capable of handling people with mental issues and has no sympathy for the officer who kicked her.

“I would like to see him in jail,” Cooley said.

Johnson said police had been out dealing with Cooley for a couple of weeks.

Her attorney said the city needs to reach out to Cooley to make sure her mental needs are met.

Police are investigating and say what they see on video appears to fall below their training standards.