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Posted: April 13, 2017

Two Georgia officers fired after stomping, punching suspect

 
 

By WSBTV.com

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. —

WSB-TV has obtained a second video that shows a Gwinnett County, Georgia, police officer punching a man he pulled over.

This comes just hours after the Gwinnett County police chief held a news conference to address another video that shows a Gwinnett police officer kick a handcuffed man in the face during the same traffic stop.

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Both officers have now been fired from the Gwinnett County Police Department.

A motorist captured video Wednesday of a Gwinnett police sergeant wrestling Demetrius Hollins to the ground. Seconds later, the video shows Officer Robert McDonald come in and kick the handcuffed man. 

The video was posted on Twitter Wednesday and quickly went viral.

We've learned the first officer seen in the video taken Wednesday is the same officer seen in the latest video showing him punching a man he pulled over. 

Police identified that officer as Sgt. Michael Bongiavonni. He is a 19-year veteran of the force.

Hollins is out of jail now and is seeking answers.

“All I can say is I wish this never happened,” Hollins told WSB-TV.

Police said Hollins was stopped for a broken taillight and traffic violations, then resisted arrest. 

“This right here is just uncalled for,” witness Kent Jones told Thomas.

Jones recorded the video that he said is a worldwide example of excessive force.

“Why would you step on someone’s face like that for no reason? Your partner clearly had it under control,” Jones told Thomas. 

With his entire command staff standing behind him Thursday afternoon, Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers described the moment he first saw the video.

“I was mad, I was upset and it felt like I had been gut-punched,” Ayers said. 

Ayers said commanders were investigating the use of force before the videotape surfaced. He said there's no excuse for what happened, but believes the officer got “tunnel vision.”

“This officer and his actions do not represent the men and women of this police department,” Ayers said.


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