Two Georgia Cops Criminally Charged for Punching, Stomping Head of Man
The two Georgia cops who were fired this month after they were caught on camera punching and stomping a non-resisting man have been criminally charged.
Turns out, one of the cops had punched the man because the man had been trying to record the interaction, according to the victim’s attorney.
But unknowing to Gwinnett County Police Sergeant Mike Bongiovanni, he was being recorded by another citizen witnessing the altercation from their car.
Another witness then recorded Gwinnett County police officer Robert McDonald, who came running up and stomped on the head of Demetrius Hollins after he had been handcuffed and was laying facedown on the ground.
The 21-year-old man had been pulled over for not using a turn signal.
The incident took place on April 12 and both cops were fired the following day.
Earlier today, they were each charged with one count of misdemeanor battery and one count of violation of oath, which is a felony, according to WSB-TV.
The former cops have until Thursday evening to turn themselves in where they will likely bond out within minutes as cops tend to do on those rare occasions they get criminally charged.
The decision to charge the cops was made by Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter, who said he was shocked by the two videos recorded by witnesses.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a situation where both officers appeared to act without justification,” Porter told WSB-TV.
Bongiovanni, who was on the force for nearly two decades, was accused of using excessive force 67 times, according to his personnel file.
But he was cleared in every single one of them.
Apparently, none of those previous incidents were captured on video.
An attorney for Bongiovanni said his client never threw a punch, but only elbowed the man, which he says is more acceptable.
“He (Bongiovannit) says, ‘I don’t recall throwing a punch.’ Because he didn’t throw a punch. It was an elbow strike, an FBI-taught defensive tactic,” attorney Mike Pugliese said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Watch both incidents in the video below.
Both former officer Robert McDonald and Sgt. Mike Bongiovanni are charged with one misdemeanor charge of battery and one count each of violation of oath, which is a felony.