Two Georgia police officers were fired Thursday.
The Gwinnett County Police Department said that Wednesday afternoon, police officer Robert McDonald violated department policy and the law for assaulting 21- year old Demetrius Hollins. It wasn’t long before second officer involved, Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni, was fired after a second video surfaced showing Bongiovanni assaulting the young male as well.
Master Police Officer Robert McDonald Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni
In the report filed by Bongiovanni, Demetrius was apparently driving a red Acura Integra with no license plate, broken tail light, and had appeared to switch lanes three times while failing to signal. He did not mention the physical contact that had occurred.
The incident was recorded by an onlooker who had their cell phone present during the incident.
In the video, you can see Bongiovanni punching Hollins in the face as the unarmed male had his hands up in the air. The other video showed Bongiovanni yelling at Hollins while on the ground handcuffed. McDonald is then seen running up and immediately stomping on the man’s head before both officers pulled him to his feet.
After the incident was recorded and revealed to the authorities the shift commander initiated an immediate investigation, placing McDonald on administrative leave. It wasn’t until a few hours later that the second officer was fired for his actions.
“We acknowledge that the actions of these two officers have implications that will be felt for some time,” a police official stated. “However, we also believe that our decisive action in terminating both officers speaks volumes about what is expected of each officer that wears a Gwinnett County Police badge.”
NBC News had an exclusive interview with Demetrius Hollins earlier today.
“I was actually trying to get to the camera app because I actually kind of had an encounter … with the particular police officer before and he charged me with the same charges as he charged me with yesterday,” said Hollins, who was booked for marijuana possession, obstruction and multiple traffic violations.”
Justin Miller, Hollin’s lawyer, said “The incident would have gone unreported had it not been captured on video.”
CLICK HERE to view full video
“He start[ed] shoving me in my car and telling me that I was never going to have a video, that I was never going to make the phone call to my mom,” he told NBC News in an exclusive interview. “When I had my hands up, that’s when he punched me in the face.”
Hollin’s lawyer said. “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.”
The issue would have been silenced afterwards with no further investigation being that Hollins apparently had a previous encounter with the police officer. With a situation like this, Hollins would have more than likely been labeled the bad person in this incident. Kenneth Dillard, eyewitness, shot the first video that surfaced.
“You don’t picture yourself seeing a police officer do that live and in person.” Kenthe shared.
Stay tuned for more updates on this story.