Georgia officers caught assaulting handcuffed man are fired

Posted April 17, 2017

Days after two officers in suburban Atlanta were fired when videos surfaced showing them kicking and punching a motorist, authorities have reportedly dismissed almost 90 cases involving the pair.

Two Gwinnett officers, Michael Bongiovanni (left) Robert McDonald (right), are fired after new traffic stop video surfaces showing them punching and kicking motorist.

Demetrius Hollins had been stopped by police in the Lawrenceville area when he was stomped in the head by an officer. The chief said the probe into McDonald's behavior was launched even before cellphone video of the incident gained traction on social media. Police said the video is "disturbing and speaks for itself".

Today Gwinnett County Solicitor-General Rosanna Szabo dismissed all cases in which former Officer (s) R. McDonald or M. Bongiovani was the principal officer or a necessary witness.

Within 24 hours of the video surfacing, McDonald had been fired and a criminal investigation into the incident begun.

McDonald's shift commander initiated an "immediate investigation", placed him on administrative leave and took his department-issued gun, police said.

McDonald was responding as a backup officer to assist Bongiovanni with a traffic stop at the busy intersection of Sugarloaf Parkway at Lawrenceville Suwanee Road.

Georgia officers fired after 'assaulting' suspect
Ayers said neither Bongiovanni nor McDonald had been in serious trouble with the department before Thursday. -- Another police video surfaces from Gwinnett County today as an officer punches a man with hands up.

Bongiovanni eventually said he needed to use a Taser on Hollins and handcuff 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".

Gwinnett County authorities terminated McDonald Thursday afternoon for his actions.

"I'm literally sick about it", Ayers said. Gwinnett County police said in an emailed statement Thursday, April 13, 2017, that Bongiovanni was sacked after a new video surfaced showing him hitting a man in the face. There was no mention in the report of Bongiovanni hitting Hollins.

Bongiovanni struggles briefly with a screaming Hollins before bringing him under control. About 45 seconds into the video, McDonald is seen jogging into the frame, barely slowing down before stomping on Hollins' face.

"Officer Bongiovanni tells him you're not going to use your phone and reaches in the vehicle to try to stop him from using the phone", Miller said. 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.

Hollins appears to have blood on his nose and lip in his booking photo.