Police fire Georgia officer recorded kicking handcuffed man

Posted April 17, 2017

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.

The Gwinnett County Police Department said in a statement that the incident occurred Wednesday and that videos confirmed "the force used was unnecessary and excessive".

An ambulance then responded and treated the handcuffed man. Police say the officer's shift commander initiated an "immediate investigation".

The officer stated that the auto seemed like it was stalling, and he exited the police vehicle to talk to the driver, and smelled the scent of marijuana.

Gwinnett County police fired Mcdonald the next day.

"We are extremely happy that the command staff of the Gwinnett Police Department heard our voices (and)¨did the noble and honorable thing, and that's to fire this officer and seek criminal charges", Maejor Page, the president of Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, wrote on the group's website.

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A police spokesman said the department wants to "continue being transparent and decisive about this entire incident".

Michael Bongiovanni pulled over motorist Demetrius Hollins in a routine traffic stop, according to police Chief Butch Ayers.

The almost two-minute video, taken by a witness on a cellphone, appears to show a police officer pull a driver, who is black, from his vehicle and struggle with the man before placing him on the ground and putting him in handcuffs. He also wrote in his report that he could smell marijuana coming from the driver and that Hollins refused to cooperate.

"I'm traumatized that this happened to me", Hollins said. "When I had my hands up, that's when he punched me in the face".

On Friday, the county's solicitor general dismissed 89 cases in which the two officers were the principal officers or necessary witnesses.

"I'm more afraid, less trusting, and concerned at any time this could happen again", Hollins said.

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Hollins' lawyer, Justin Miller, said the incident would likely have been gone unreported if it had not been caught on video.

Police said the man, Demetrius Hollins, resisted arrest after being pulled over for a broken tail light. He never mentioned punching Hollins.

The Gwinnett County Police Department said Thursday that McDonald had been fired from his post, and a few hours later, said that Bongiovanni was also fired.

A second video later surfaced and was shot from a very different angle.

Bongiovanni struggles briefly with a screaming Hollins before bringing him under control. He was sacked Thursday evening. But the officer who responded to the accident said in a letter to the department's safety review committee that it would have been very hard for McDonald to avoid the wreck.

Hollins, 21, appears to have blood on his nose and lip in his booking photo. We have taken appropriate and swift action to deal with this.

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