(Video Credit: Kent Jones)
A Gwinnett County police officer has been fired less than 24 hours after he was captured on video stomping a handcuffed man in the head.
The officer is identified as Robert McDonald, a three-year veteran of the force. The encounter, which has gone viral on social media, was between McDonald, another officer, and a man identified as 21-year-old Demetrius Bryan Hollins of Lawrenceville.
It happened around 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of Sugarloaf Parkway and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. Initially, one officer is seen handcuffing and searching Hollins’ pockets. Hollins is on the ground and on his stomach. Shortly thereafter, Officer McDonald, bolts towards Hollins and stomps him in the head.
The officers are white. The man in cuffs on the video is black, and had apparently been pulled over for a traffic violation. Reports indicate that Demetrius Bryan Hollins was booked on charges including obstruction of a police officer, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, failure to signal, operating a vehicle with suspended or revoked registration, and several other traffic violations.
The Georgia NAACP calls the video “disgusting.” In a statement, President Francys Johnson said, “I am disgusted by the intolerable conduct of the Gwinnett County police officer who kicked Demetrius Bryan Hollins, 21, in the head as he was lying on the ground during a traffic stop. Unfortunately, this conduct is par for the course in too many agencies charged with the duty of serving and protecting the public.”
In a statement, the Gwinnett County Police Department said, “We have also launched a criminal investigation that will ultimately be sent to the District Attorney’s Office. What happened yesterday was clearly outside of state law and department policy. We do not tolerate actions that are not consistent with our core values or state law.”