Published: Mon, April 17, 2017
Local | By Dorothy Bennett

Fired officers had previously arrested same man


An attorney is calling for the two Georgia police officers who were fired after being caught on camera having a violent confrontation with a motorist to face criminal charges.

Two policemen in Georgia have been fired by the Gwinnett County Police Department (GCPD) after a video was published showing them assault a detained motorist.

Hollins, 21, had been pulled over in Lawrenceville around 4pm Wednesday by Bongiovanni, the police say, and as shown in a video that appeared on the Everything Georgia Twitter feed, Bongiovanni punched Hollins in the face after Hollins came out of the vehicle with his hands up.

FILE - In this Wednesday, April 12, 2017 file photo released by the Gwinnett County (Ga.) Sheriff's Office, Demetrius Bryan Hollins poses for a photograph after being arrested.

Hollins has been charged with multiple traffic citations, obstruction of a police officer and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. The chief said the probe into McDonald's behavior was launched even before cellphone video of the incident gained traction on social media.

"The video was contrary to what was reported by Michael Bongiovanni", Gwinnett police said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta wrote on their Facebook their demands that the Gwinnett County Police Department, or GCPD, terminate McDonald for his attack on Hollins and seek criminal charges. But now that only means that both officers need to be fired.

"The revelations uncovered in this entire investigation are shocking", the statement continued.

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Bongiavonni insists, reports ABC News, that Hollins was ordered to step out of the auto but refused, choosing instead to begin screaming "help me" into his cellphone.

"It shouldn't have happened", Ayers said McDonald told him. Video surveillance showed the deputy had "forced the arrestee face-first into a brick wall, slammed the arrestee's head into the wall and then punched the arrestee in the back of the head with a closed fist".

"Up until this point, he was a good police officer".

The police department's internal affairs unit questioned Bongiovanni and McDonald about their actions, Ayers said. He was released on bond Thursday afternoon. He never mentioned punching Hollins.

Hollins was not able to answer questions from reporters.

Bongiovanni struggles briefly with a screaming Hollins before bringing him under control.

"You don't picture yourself seeing a police officer do that live and in person", Dillard said. Police said the man, Demetrius Hollins, resisted arrested after being pulled over for a broken tail light.

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