Attorney calls for Georgia officers to be criminally charged
- Author: Larry Hoffman Apr 16, 2017,
Apr 16, 2017, 2:45
The department fired Bongiovanni Thursday evening about two hours after the second video surfaced.
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.
Late Friday afternoon, the Gwinnett County Solicitor's office confirmed that both of Hollins' cases - from 2016 and 2017 - have been dismissed by the county because of the involvement of Sgt. Bongiovanni and Officer McDonald. Gwinnett County police said in an emailed statement Thursday, April 13, 2017, that Bongiovanni was sacked after a new video surfaced showing him hitting a man in the face.
The department has opened a criminal investigation into the officers' behavior.
McDonald was a three-year veteran of the force, while Bongiovanni had been with Gwinnett PD since 1998.
Bongiovanni was terminated shortly after the release of the footage for excessive use of force and falsifying a police report.
Are police departments reacting differently now when confronted with video evidence showing the misconduct of officers?
"Hollins refused to place his hands behind his back, spun around and began to actively resist arrest by bending at the waist and trying to push me away", he said in his incident report. He'd been a part of the south precinct's community response team and was named officer of the month several times.
"The truth would never have come to life without these videos", Hollins said, reading from a prepared statement. Michael Bongiovanni was let go later that day after a second video emerged, per the Washington Post. His mother, Tamara Crenshaw says she's still shaken up about what happened to her son. This week, the vehicle had no tag and Bongiovanni pulled over Hollins after he changed lanes three times without signaling.
When Bongiovanni told Hollins last August that he was under arrest for not having a driver's license and asked him to step out of the auto, Hollins became hysterical, Bongiovanni wrote then.
"We want both of these officers criminally charged", Miller said. He had written in the report that Hollins had been acting out of the ordinary and yelled, "I need my mom". The video then shows Bongiovanni punching Hollins in the face. As he got out of the vehicle, Hollins hit the gear shift and the auto began to roll, forcing McDonald to chase the auto, jump inside and pull the emergency brake.
The other, filmed by a witness from another angle, shows Sgt Michael Bongiovanni striking Mr Hollins in the face as he exits his auto with his hands up.
"I'm glad that the second video was forwarded top us".
He added, "I scratch my head".
Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers echoed the department's sentiments at a press conference Thursday.