Another Georgia Cop Fired For Punching Man In Face During Traffic Stop

REUTERS/Tami Chappell

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A Georgia police department fired a second officer after footage surfaced Thursday showing him punching a suspect in the face.

The Gwinnett County Police Department fired Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni for lying about his actions during a police stop, the department said in an emailed press release.

Police discovered video showing Bongiovanni hitting 21-year-old Demetrius Bryan Hollins in the face when the man stepped out of his car with his hands up during a Wednesday traffic stop.

“We are fortunate that this second video was found and we were able to move swiftly to terminate a supervisor who lied and stepped outside of his training and state law,” the department said in the release.

Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta posted a video showing Bongiovanni and a second officer conducting a traffic stop Wednesday. The footage showed Officer Robert McDonald, the second cop, arriving on the scene as backup and kicking Hollins in the face when he was already handcuffed and lying on the ground. (RELATED:Officer Fired After Video Shows Him Kicking Handcuffed Suspect In The Face)

The department fired McDonald Thursday after reviewing the footage, police said in an earlier press release. The department fired Bongiovanni shortly after reviewing the second footage that showed him punching Hollins.

Bongiovanni left out the punch in his police report, authorities said. His report maintained that he smelled marijuana on Hollins and that Hollins tried to resist arrest.

“I am almost for a loss of words for what we had to go through today for the unwarranted actions of two of my officers,” Police Chief Butch Ayers said. “We’ve put a lot of money into recruiting, training and equipping them, and there is literally no excuse for behavior like this.

The department is planning to launch a second criminal investigation into Bongiovanni’s actions.

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