Two former police officers in Gwinnett County, Georgia are facing charges after they were videotaped punching and kicking a man during a traffic stop. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which has video of the encounter, Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni and Master Officer Robert McDonald have been charged with misdemeanor battery and violating their oath of office, which is a felony.
The two white officers were fired earlier this month after cell phone video showed McDonald stomping on the head of driver Demetrius Bryan Hollins. Hollins was pulled over on April 12 by Bongiovanni because he did not have a license plate and changed lanes without signaling, per the police report.
Bongiovanni was initially applauded for following protocol until another video surfaced in which he punched Hollins, who had both hands up.
According to his lawyer, Bongiovanni did not punch Hollins but hit him with his elbow, in what he calls “an FBI-taught defensive tactic.” Violating an oath of office is punishable by up to five years in priosn, according to KTLA.
[Photo: Gwinnett County Police Department]