Cops Fired, Charged for Allegedly Beating Handcuffed Man: 'No Excuse for Behavior Like This'
Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni, 42, and Master Officer Robert McDonald, 25, were charged with misdemeanor battery and violating their oath of office, a felony.
Two ex-Georgia police officers charged with punching and kicking a motorist during a traffic stop have turned themselves in to authorities, officials said.
Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni, 42, and Master Officer Robert McDonald, 25, of the Gwinnett County Police Department, made their $15,000 bonds Thursday after being charged the previous day with misdemeanor battery and violating their oath of office, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The latter charge is a felony that carries a minimum sentence of one year in prison.
The disgraced officers were allegedly caught on camera April 12 beating 21-year-old Demetrius Hollins, who had been pulled over for not having a license plate and changing multiple lanes without signaling, authorities said.
In the video, Hollins can be seen emerging from his vehicle with his hands up before being handcuffed, hit, Tased and then kicked in the head, the The AJC reported.
“No one would have believed that I did nothing to provoke an assault I suffered [at] the hands of these Gwinnet County police officers,” a bruised Hollins later told reporters.
Gwinnett Police Chief Butch Ayers fired both men, saying there was “no excuse for behavior like this.”
“The suspect was lying down, he was clearly handcuffed, he was clearly not resisting,” Ayers said at a press conference. “He wasn’t a threat to anyone. Any further application of use of force was unnecessary and excessive.”
Danny Porter, Gwinnett County’s District Attorney, said more charges could follow, telling The AJC: “There’s a lot more going on in Bongiovanni’s case.”
Bongiovanni’s attorney, Mike Puglise, told the newspaper that his client maintains his innocence and “vigorously stands by his conduct” in the April 12 arrest.
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