Bodycam Footage Shows Atlanta Officer Repeatedly Using Taser on Church Deacon Who Later Died

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Bodycam footage was recently released in the case of Johnny Hollman, a 62-year-old church deacon who died after being repeatedly tased by Officer Kiran Kimbrough of the Atlanta Police Department. The footage was made public at the family’s behest and has raised questions about police procedures and use of force.

Hollman was driving home from a Bible study when he got into a minor traffic accident. Officer Kimbrough, who responded to the incident, determined that Hollman was at fault for the accident and tried to issue a citation, which Hollman refused to sign at first.

An Atlanta police officer responding to a minor car crash deployed a Taser on a church deacon who disregarded multiple commands to sign a traffic ticket, shocking the man after he repeatedly said he could not breathe, police body camera video released Wednesday shows.
Johnny Hollman Sr. became unresponsive during his arrest late on the night of Aug. 10 and later died. An autopsy determined the 62-year-old’s death was a homicide, with heart disease also a contributing factor, and his family has called on prosecutors to charge Officer Kiran Kimbrough with murder. An attorney for Kimbrough, who was fired, says the officer acted lawfully.

The footage shows Officer Kimbrough interacting with Hollman, who was visibly upset and was arguing that he “did nothing wrong.”

The officer repeatedly tells Hollman to “sign the ticket” until he eventually begins grabbing the deacon. Hollman takes out his phone and dials his daughter’s number but is stopped when Kimbrough seizes his arm and tells him once again to sign the ticket.

“Ok, I’m going to sign the ticket,” Hollman says before being taken to the ground and repeatedly tased. Kimbrough can be heard telling Hollman to put his hands behind his back while tasing him. Hollman eventually stops moving as the officers place him in handcuffs. The officer tries to get Hollman to sit up but then realizes he has passed out and is “bleeding pretty bad.”

The deacon was later pronounced dead at the hospital and an autopsy determined that the manner of death was a homicide. The medical examiner listed the cause as “cardiac dysrhythmia due to use of conducted energy device in association with hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.” Kimbrough was fired last month for failing to follow standard operating procedures. The department noted that an on-scene supervisor must approve of arresting someone who refuses to sign a citation.

Not all states require individuals to sign tickets when an officer presents them with one. But in Georgia, one can be arrested for refusing to sign the documentation.

(a) A person who is issued a citation as provided in this chapter or Code Section 17-6-11, relating to display of driver’s license in lieu of bail, shall sign the citation to acknowledge receipt of the citation and of his or her obligation to appear for trial. The officer shall advise the person that signing the citation is not an admission of guilt and that failure to sign will result in the person having to post a cash bond. If the person refuses to sign the citation, it shall constitute reasonable cause to believe that the person will not appear at trial and the officer may bring the person before a judicial officer or traffic violations bureau to post a bond as is otherwise provided by law.

The Atlanta Police Department has revised its procedures, allowing officers to write “refusal to sign” on citations instead of making arrests.

The case is currently being investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. It raises critical questions about the laws surrounding these types of incidents and how they can lead to negative outcomes.

You can watch the full video below.

Screenshot from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNm65leBphI&t=240s

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