Two former Gwinnett County police officers charged with punching and kicking a motorist after a traffic stop have turned themselves in to authorities.
Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni and Master Officer Robert McDonald turned themselves into the Gwinnett County jail Thursday, but have since bonded out of jail. The officers were charged Wednesday with misdemeanor battery and violating their oath of office, a felony which carries a minimum sentence of one year in prison. Bond was set at $15,000 apiece.
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Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter hinted that more charges could follow.
“There’s a lot more going on in Bongiovanni’s case,” Porter said.
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Bongiovanni's attorney, Mike Puglise, said his client maintains his innocence and "vigorously stands by his conduct" during the April 12th arrest of 21-year-old Demetrius Hollins. A citizen shot video of Bongiovanni punching Hollins shortly after the 21-year-old emerged from his vehicle with his hands up. He was handcuffed and on the ground when McDonald was captured on another camera phone kicking him in the head.
Gwinnett Police Chief Butch Ayers promptly fired the officers, calling their behavior "unnecessary and excessive."
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Credit: Miguel Martinez