Two videos circulating on social media showed a Georgia man being assaulted by two cops during a traffic stop this week, and now those cops have been fired, the AP reports.
A witness shot cell phone video showing Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni striking Demetrius Bryan Hollins in the face as he got out of a vehicle with both hands up, Public Information Officer Corporal Deon Washington said.
Two Georgia police officers have been fired today after videos surfaced online showing a man being punched and kicked during a traffic stop, police said.
Hollins said he recognized Sergeant Michael Bongiovanni, seen on cell phone video elbowing him in the face while his hands are up from a stop last summer where he said the officer choked and punched him in the face.
In this Wednesday, April 12, 2017 photo released by the Gwinnett County (Ga.) Sheriff's Office, Demetrius Bryan Hollins poses for a photograph after being arrested.
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. The incident was captured on video by a witness. "As he stands with his hands up, [Sergeant] Michael Bongiovanni strikes the man in the face", the police said in a statement. "We've been able to move swiftly to terminate this supervisor who not only stepped outside of his training and state law but he also failed to tell us what happened in the incident report and the use of force reports", Ayers said.
It shows 19 year veteran Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni pulling the driver out of a red vehicle. In his report, Bongiovanni said Hollins' auto smelled of marijuana and he then "began to act odd", saying he wanted to call his mother.
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The shocking footage shows a man, later identified as Demetrius Bryan Hollins, 21, being yanked from a vehicle and shoved into the middle of the road, flat on his stomach.
Bongiovanni eventually Tasered Hollins, pinned him on the ground and handcuffed him.
At that same news conference, Ayers commended Bongiovanni for following protocol and reporting the stomping incident by McDonald to his shift commander.
After he took Hollins to jail, Bongiovanni told a supervisor that McDonald had kicked the suspect in the head.
Bongiovanni, who's been on the force for two decades, claimed in his report he smelled marijuana and that Hollins "began to act strange" because he wanted to call his mother. Bongiovanni asked Hollins to get out of the auto and he resisted, the report said. 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 have never came to light without these videos". But the officer who responded to the accident said in a letter to the department's safety review committee that it would have been very hard for McDonald to avoid the wreck.