Georgia officers fired, investigated after separate cases of excessive force

Kristopher Drake
April 17, 2017

Officer Robert McDonald, who joined the department in 2013, responded as backup to a traffic stop on Wednesday, when he found a fellow officer with Demetrius Hollins, who had been placed under arrest.

In Georgia, not one but two Gwinnett County police officers were fired less than 24 hours after cell phone videos surfaced of them punching and kicking a handcuffed motorist.

Last Wednesday, Sargent Michael Bongiovanni had pulled a motorist, Demetrius Hollins, to the side in what is considered a routine stop, said the police Chief Butch Ayers.

It was Bongiovanni who pulled Hollins over in Lawrenceville, Ga., just outside of Atlanta.

"He start (ed) shoving me in my vehicle 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", Hollins told NBC News.

"The cellphone video is very disturbing and it speaks for itself", the Gwinnett County Police Department said of the first video.

Now, both former officers could face criminal charges after two cellphone videos captured the alleged attacks.

The police department said it has launched a criminal investigation that will be sent to the Gwinnett County district attorney's office.

"We think they knew".

"I ordered Hollins out of the vehicle". He also wrote in his report that he could smell marijuana coming from the driver and that Hollins refused to cooperate.

An officer, identified as Robert Mcdonald, walked up and kicked a 21-year-old man, who was handcuffed on the ground.

"With the particular police officer before and he charged me with the same charges as he charged me with yesterday". But Bongiovanni said in written documents and in-person interviews that a struggle occurred between him and Hollins, according to the police chief. As he arrived, he ran up and stomped on the prone and helpless Hollins.

"It shouldn't have happened", Ayers said McDonald told him. Bongiovanni asked Hollins to get out of the vehicle and he resisted, the report said.

It was unclear if either officer had hired an attorney.

The video, which was posted online, shows an officer appearing to yell orders at a handcuffed man who then lies face-down in a left-turn lane of the busy intersection.

"[Bongiovanni] 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", Hollins said. He'd been a part of the south precinct's community response team and was named officer of the month several times.

Bongiovanni and McDonald did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for comment.

Police released McDonald's personnel file Thursday and said Bongiovanni's would be released Thursday.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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