Police Officer Who Kicked A Handcuffed Man In The Head Faces Termination

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15 April, 2017

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution identified the suspect as 21-year-old Demetrius Bryan Hollins of Lawrenceville.

Two Georgia police officers were fired on Thursday after videos emerged on social media showing them punching and kicking a man who was handcuffed on the ground during a traffic stop. As Hollins gets out the vehicle with his hands up, the officer punches him in the face.

A motorist captured video Wednesday of a Gwinnett police sergeant wrestling Demetrius Hollins to the ground.

"He start [ed] shoving me in my auto and telling me that I was never going to have a video, that I was never going to make the phone call to my mom", he told NBC News in an exclusive interview. According to an incident report filed by Bongiovanni, Hollins switched lanes three times without signaling.

Police said Hollins was pulled over for having a broken taillight and later resisted arrest.

An ambulance responded to the scene and treated Hollins. "It's because American police officers have ZERO regard for black lives, they beat us, shoot and kill us without a blink of an eye and the biggest problem is, it all goes UNCHALLENGED".

"We're going to allow the Gwinnett County Police Department do their investigation and when we find out more, we'll tell you more, but right now we want to get him to the hospital and get him checked out", Miller said.

Police Chief Butch Ayers said when Bongiovanni spoke with internal affairs, he "said nothing about the punch", an action the chief called "unreasonable and unnecessary". "He wasn't a threat to anyone".

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The seemingly low rate of discipline for officers over the use of excessive force is why Hollins' case has drawn the attention of the Black Lives Matter chapter for the Greater Atlanta area, activists said.

At that same news conference, Ayers commended Bongiovanni for following protocol and reporting the stomping incident by McDonald to his shift commander.

A second video later surfaced that purportedly shows Hollins being punched in the face by Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni as he stepped out of his vehicle in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Public outrage at how police departments responded to previous misconduct accusations only partly explain the reason for the swift action this week in California and Georgia, according to Alexander.

Bongiovanni's report said Hollins' auto lacked a license plate and changed lanes several times without signaling.

Ayers said McDonald had been called as back-up after the suspect initially resisted arrest but by the time he arrived, the situation was largely under control. His termination - and the launch of a criminal investigation into his actions - were announced by 1 p.m. Thursday. "We do not tolerate actions that are not consistent with our core values or state law".

Hollins left the Gwinnett County Jail Thursday with a bloodied face, telling local station WSB-TV, "All I can say is, I wish this had never happened to me".


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