Georgia officers fired after 'assaulting' suspect

Posted April 15, 2017

-- Another police video surfaces from Gwinnett County today as an officer punches a man with hands up.

A second video of Wednesday's incident surfaced, leading to the firing Thursday of Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni, a 19-year police veteran.

On Thursday, the Gwinnett County Police in Georgia announced the termination of an officer who was caught on camera stomping on the head of a man who was on the ground in handcuffs.

Bongiovanni's account of the traffic stop is very similar to the incident report he filed after he arrested Hollins in August.

"We are extremely happy that the command staff of the Gwinnett Police Department heard our voices (and)¨did the noble and honorable thing, and that's to fire this officer and seek criminal charges", Maejor Page, the president of Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, wrote on the group's website.

"The revelations uncovered in this entire investigation are shocking", police department spokesman Cpl.

A man punched and kicked in the head by two Georgia cops during a traffic stop told NBC News that he earlier had an "encounter" with one of the officers. McDonald was subsequently placed on administrative leave and his department-issued firearm was taken.

Rosanna Szabo said Friday she is dropping all cases in which Robert McDonald or Michael Bongiovanni were either the principal officer or a necessary witness. Police said the video is "disturbing and speaks for itself".

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The man who was beaten by the officers was seen walking out of jail with a bloody nose and lip on Thursday.

"I am nearly at a loss of words about what we have had to go through today for the unwarranted actions of two of my officers", he said.

Demetrius Bryan Hollins, 21, is shown in bystander video being pulled from a vehicle, handcufffed and placed face-down on a road, where an officer appears to kick him in the head.

Bongiovanni smelled marijuana when he approached the auto in both cases and called for backup, the reports say.

"The history of this department is that we investigate our own people". An ambulance responded to the scene and treated the man.

Bongoivanni didn't mention punching Hollins in his incident report or in a follow-up interview, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Ayers said neither Bongiovanni nor McDonald had been in serious trouble with the department before Thursday. According to police, the officer was responding as backup to help a supervisor during a traffic stop. Both police officers are white.

According to official report of what happened, released by Gwinnett Police, another officer, M. Bongiovanni, said he watched a vehicle fail to use a turn signal.