Cops fired after videos surface of them punching and kicking motorist

Gwinnett County police said in an emailed statement Thursday evening that Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni was sacked after new video appeared.

Video posted online appears to show 21-year-old student Demetrius Hollins being kicked by Officer Robert McDonald of the Gwinnett County Police Department while lying on the ground in handcuffs. The statement continued with, "We do not tolerate actions that are not consistent with our core values or state law".

The department has also opened criminal investigations into the behavior of the two officers. "There was a time when police could say, 'We need to wait for the full investigation.' Now, some departments are recognizing the importance of responding".

It was Bongiovanni who pulled Hollins over in Lawrenceville, Ga., just outside of Atlanta.

"What happened yesterday, at the hands of one of my former officers, was embarrassing - not only to the Gwinnett County Police Department - but to all law enforcement".

McDonald had been placed on administrative leave earlier this week, resulting in his firearm being confiscated, police said.

According to the person who filmed the video, who handed over their footage to the Greater Atlanta chapter of Black Lives Matter shortly after the incident, "blood splattered everywhere" when the second officer kicked Hollins in the face.

Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers reacted to the video at a news conference Thursday afternoon saying it was disturbing.

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




McDonald's firing came after a social media video showed him kicking and stomping Hollins while Hollins was on the ground after he left his auto.

The officer said the vehicle appeared to stall, and he got out to speak to the driver and could smell marijuana. "We will conduct a thorough investigation".

In his report, the 19-year veteran said the vehicle did not have a license plate and continued moving as he tried to stop it. Bongiovanni said there was a struggle after Hollins resisted arrest.

Asked what message the incident sends, Ayers said, "We have standards, we have policies, and we're going to hold ourselves to those standards and to those policies". After that McDonald came on the scene and stomped him in the face.

"I ordered Hollins out of the vehicle".

"When I first saw the video, I immediately got the chills", Page told ABC News.

Police said the officers are both white, and police reports say Hollins is black.

Hollins has been charged with multiple traffic citations, obstruction of a police officer and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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