Cops fired after videos surface of them punching and kicking motorist
Two Georgia cops were fired Thursday after videos surfaced showing them punching and stomping on the head of an unarmed non-resisting man.
Gwinnett County police said in an emailed statement Thursday evening that Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni was sacked after new video surfaced of him hitting a man in the face.
One video showed one perspective of the Wednesday traffic stop in Gwinnett County.
Bongiovanni pulled Hollins over in Lawrenceville, just outside Atlanta, police said.
A second video discovered by police, taken by a witness from a different angle, "shows the man getting out of the vehicle with both hands up", according to police.
"We can nearly betcha the Chief of Police will say, "I'm sorry but we can't speak on personnel matters or we are conducting a full investigation" and after the investigation they will say... We do not tolerate actions that are not consistent with our core values or state law", a police statement said.
A criminal investigation has been launched into both officers' actions and criminal charges, at least for McDonald, appear likely, the paper reported.
McDonald's shift commander initiated an "immediate investigation", placed him on administrative leave and took his department-issued gun, police said. Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said he "anticipated" there being criminal charges filed against them.
"The fact that these guys felt so brazen as to. assault him in public in broad daylight in front of hundreds of onlookers and hundreds of cars is indicative of what they think is OK", Miller told NBC News. This week, the auto had no tag and Bongiovanni pulled over Hollins after he changed lanes three times without signaling.
The officer smelled marijuana and was unable to verify any information about the vehicle, so he ordered Hollins out of the auto.
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In the footage, Officer Robert McDonald emergef from off the screen then kicked Hollins as he lay on the floor.
Last August, McDonald was honored for three years of "good conduct" with the Gwinnett County Police Department.
It was unclear if either officer had hired an attorney.
Bongiovanni wrote that Hollins wouldn't stop for him and only came to a complete stop once his Acura stalled out.
The other, filmed by a witness from another angle, shows Sgt Michael Bongiovanni striking Mr Hollins in the face as he exits his vehicle with his hands up. Hollins left his vehicle with his hands up but was punched in the head and taken to the ground by Bongiovanni.
During Wednesday's stop, the report says, Hollins again yelled "I need to call my mom" when Bongiovanni explained why he'd pulled him over.
"I would say that, probably next week, sometime, we're gonna meet with the police department and make some decisions", said Porter. He'd been a part of the south precinct's community response team and was named officer of the month several times.
The chief said he was disturbed by what he saw in the videos and by the actions of his officers.
Both officers did not respond immediately to CNN requests for comment.
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