Second officer fired after new video of disturbing Gwinnett Police stop emerges


Now, the Gwinnett County Police Department is launching criminal investigations into the behavior of both McDonald and Bongiovanni.

A second video of Wednesday's incident surfaced, leading to the firing Thursday of Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni, a 19-year police veteran.

(AP) - A Georgia police officer who was praised as courteous and professional past year was sacked Thursday, less than 24 hours after authorities say he kicked a handcuffed man in the head.

The Gwinnett County Police Department said in a statement that the incident occurred Wednesday and that videos confirmed "the force used was unnecessary and excessive".

Bongiovanni states in the report that Hollins yelled and refused to obey orders when he ordered him out of the auto, and resisted when the officer tried to arrest him. The video was captured on a cell phone by a witness in traffic.

"What I viewed on that video disturbed me", Gwinnett Police Chief Butch Ayers said at the press conference.

"We acknowledge that the actions of these two officers have implications that will be felt for some time", the statement continued. We can nearly betcha the Chief of Police will say, "I'm sorry but we can't speak on personnel matters or we are conducting a full investigation" and after the investigation they will say... But police say the video contradicts that, showing Hollins exiting the auto with both hands up and Bongiovanni hitting him in the face as Hollins stands with his hands still up.

Gwinnett County authorities terminated McDonald Thursday afternoon for his actions. It shows McDonald getting a running start before kicking the handcuffed Hollins.

"All I could say is, I wish this never happened to me", a bloodied and bruised Hollins told reporters after leaving with his lawyers.

Bongiovanni said he verbally ordered Hollins to exit the vehicle several times and threatened to use his Taser but the man refused.

In his report, Bongiovanni said the vehicle did not have a license plate and continued moving as he tried to pull it over. Both police officers, who have not been identified, appear to be white.

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The department says an investigation into McDonald's actions was launched immediately, and he was sacked by midafternoon Thursday. According to police, the officer was responding as backup to help a supervisor during a traffic stop. Some point to a clear about-face by police chiefs who have to clean up after such incidents, while others say it's too soon to know if the reactions in these cases represent a permanent policy shift. Both officers then hold the man down before putting him in the backseat of their squad vehicle.