Gwinnett DA: Criminal charges could be filed against fired officers next week

Apr 18, 2017, 02:06
Gwinnett DA: Criminal charges could be filed against fired officers next week

Two police officers in Georgia were fired this week after a video surfaced that showed them hurting a man during an arrest.

The axing comes after a second video emerged showing Gwinnett County Police Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni punching 21-year-old Demetrius Bryan Hollins in the face, according to reports.

Video shot in Georgia on Wednesday shows a Gwinnett County officer running toward a man lying handcuffed in an intersection.

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".

Demetrius Hollins reacts to getting punched and kicked by Georgia police officers.

Prior to the announcement of McDonald's termination, Gwinnett police officials had called the video of his alleged actions "very disturbing" and vowed a thorough investigation. "We do not tolerate actions that are not consistent with our core values or state law". "This officer and his actions do not represent the men and women of this police department who put their lives on the line every single day to protect this county".

"The revelations uncovered in this entire investigation are shocking", Washington said. It wasn't immediately clear whether either man had an attorney who could comment.

Hollins resisted arrest and yelled about wanting to call his mother before the officers were eventually able to get him into the patrol truck, Bongiovanni wrote in August.

NYT Fails To Disclose Terrorism Conviction Of Op-Ed Contributor
Palestinian prisoners and detainees are staging a mass open-ended hunger strike to protest their conditions in Israeli prisons. Opinion polls indicate that Barghouti enjoys widespread support in his quest to replace Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

Bongiovanni smelled marijuana when he approached the auto in both cases and called for backup, the reports say. Bongiovanni asked Hollins to get out of the auto and he resisted, the report said.

Hollins was becoming angry at this point, according to police.

Several seconds later, a second officer runs up and kicks the driver in the head. The video ends shortly after the officers place the driver on the hood of a police SUV.

The department also said they had launched a criminal investigation into McDonald's actions and subsequently a second one on Bongiovanni's actions.

Hollins was slugged by Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni, and then was kicked in the head by Officer Robert McDonald while he was handcuffed.

Bongiovanni, who's been on the force 19 years, wrote he ordered Hollins out of the auto, but a struggle ensued.

"If there were no cameras, they would have gotten away with it", Hollins' lawyer Justin Miller told NBC News. "He refused, grabbed his phone and literally started to scream, 'Help me, ' in the phone", 19-year police veteran Bongiavonni wrote in a report. Hollins was handcuffed and prone at the time.

But even while some officers are held accountable for excessive use of force, it's unclear how pervasive the unlawful use of force is among US police departments.