Two Gwinnett County, Ga., police officers, Robert McDonald and Michael Bongiovanni, were fired after videos show them kicking and punching a handcuffed black motorist Demetrius Hollins.
Officer Robert McDonald was captured on a video shot by an eyewitness kicking Hollins while he was handcuffed to the ground. A second video shows Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni punching Hollins in the face as he exits the car with his hands up.
Sgt. Bongiovanni wrote in his report that when approaching Hollins’ vehicle he could smell marijuana and that the he was acting strangely and started screaming “I need my mom.” The report claims Mr. Hollins resisted arrest by refusing to put his hand behind his back when ordered out of the car. He was Tased and handcuffed on the ground.
Bongiovanni, a 19-year-veteran of the Gwinnett Police Department, also wrote that he remembered Hollins in a previous traffic stop, and claims he had “reached for a loaded firearm under his seat.” He was fired for lying in his incident report and for his actions. Officer McDonald was also fired. He admitted that he was wrong to kick Demetrius Hollins.
The Gwinnett County Police Department said in a statement: “The revelations uncovered in this entire investigation are shocking. We are 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 of law.
“We acknowledge that the actions of these two officers have implications that will be felt for some time. However, we also believe that our decisive action in terminating both officers speaks volumes about what is expected of each officer that wears a Gwinnett County Police badge.”