Gwinnett County police assault victim set to speak out
- Author: Larry Hoffman Apr 16, 2017,
Apr 16, 2017, 6:24
A second Georgia officer has been fired after police say video surfaced of him hitting a man in the face.
In the 10-second-long, new video, a police officer, identified as Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni, a 19-year police veteran, can be seen pulling the driver of a red auto out of his vehicle.
Georgia does not have a "law enforcement officers bill of rights", which makes it extremely hard to fire a police officer in those states that have such laws, and neither are public employees in Georgia granted collective bargaining privileges, which enable police unions to negotiate just the kinds of contracts that unduly protect bad actors. Gwinnett County police also called the video "very disturbing" and said it "confirmed that the force used was unnecessary and excessive".
A second video discovered by police, taken by a witness from a different angle, "shows the man getting out of the vehicle with both hands up", according to police.
"When police officers betray the public's trust and confidence, justice demands that all those cases that depend on their credibility be dismissed without delay", said a statement from Szabo's office. "We're fortunate that this second video was found and we were able to move swiftly to terminate a supervisor who lied and stepped outside of his training and state law".
Now, the officers have been fired and could face criminal charges.
An Ohio police officer captured on video apparently kicking a handcuffed suspect in the head also was involved in a fatal shooting previous year. Police said the man, Demetrius Hollins, resisted arrested after being pulled over for a broken tail light.
"My name is Demetrius Hollins and all I can say is I wish this never happened to me", Hollins said.
"You don't picture yourself seeing a police officer do that live and in person", said eyewitness Kenneth Dillard.
"I am nearly for a loss of words for what we had to go through today for the unwarranted actions of two of my officers", Police Chief Butch Ayers said.
During Wednesday's stop, the report says, Hollins again yelled "I need to call my mom" when Bongiovanni explained why he'd pulled him over.
Police Chief Ayers said Sgt. Bongiovanni hid his actions from investigators.
Ayers said when Bongiovanni was asked about the discrepancies in his account and the newly surfaced video, he replied, "It's different on the streets".
In a statement, the Gwinnett County Police Department announced the two officer's termination, adding that "the revelations uncovered in this entire investigation are shocking". "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".