BLACK VOICES
03/01/2018 03:34 pm ET

Grand Jury Indicts Two Former Cops Caught On Traffic Stop Beating Video

Michael Bongiovanni and Robert McDonald face 10 counts for their alleged attack.

A grand jury has indicted two former Georgia police officers on multiple charges after they were recorded beating and kicking a handcuffed black motorist during a traffic stop early last year.

Former Gwinnett County Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni and former Master Police Officer Robert McDonald, who were both fired after the April 12, 2017, incident, were hit with a 10-count indictment on Wednesday.

The indictment followed a Gwinnett County grand jury’s viewing of two videos that captured 21-year-old Demetrius Hollins being violently taken into custody near a busy intersection, Atlanta station 11 Alive reported.

Video shows to show Demetrius Hollins being punched in the head by an officer just seconds after he exits his
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Video shows to show Demetrius Hollins being punched in the head by an officer just seconds after he exits his vehicle with his arms raised.

One video shows Hollins holding his hands in the air before an officer appears to punch him in the face. Another shows him lying handcuffed on the ground as a second officer runs up and appears to stomp on his head. Hollins, who was left bloody and bruised, was also allegedly hit with a stun gun.

Both men were previously charged one count of violation of oath of office, which is a felony, and one count of battery, which is a misdemeanor. 

The latest charges against them include battery, violation of oath of office, making false official certificates or writings, and aggravated assault, which stems from an officer allegedly pointing a firearm at Hollins’ head, according to a copy of the indictment obtained by HuffPost.

Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni (left) and Master Police Officer Robert McDonald were fired shortly after the arrest.
Gwinnett County Police Department
Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni (left) and Master Police Officer Robert McDonald were fired shortly after the arrest.

Lawyers for both officers have denied wrongdoing and said they plan to fight the charges.

“Bongiovanni, in a split-second, highly intense situation of de-escalating the situation, did everything he was trained to,” the former officer’s attorney Mike Puglise told CBS 46.

The initial charges brought by the officers against Hollins ― including obstruction of a law enforcement officer, driving without a license plate, not using a turn signal and carrying less than an ounce of marijuana ― have been dropped.

The Gwinnett County Solicitor’s Office also dropped 89 unrelated criminal cases last year in which Bongiovanni or McDonald was the principal officer or a necessary witness. The office reasoned at the time that the two men no longer had credibility and therefore could not “be relied upon as witnesses in any pending prosecution.”

HuffPost

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