GWINNETT COUNTY, GA — Two ex-Gwinnett County police officers were indicted Wednesday, after being arrested last April for punching and kicking a handcuffed driver. Former Gwinnett police officers Michael Bongiovanni and Robert McDonald are now facing charges including violation of oath of office, battery and aggravated assault, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
An indictment is a formal, written statement framed by a prosecuting authority and found by a jury, such as a grand jury, charging a person with an offense.
In April 2017, Patch reported Gwinnett County Solicitor-General Rosanna Szabo announced that 63 cases in Gwinnett County Recorder’s Court and 26 cases in Gwinnett County State Court have been dismissed.
In each of those cases, either Master Police Officer Robert McDonald or Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni was the principal officer or a necessary witness.
Both officers were fired after videos surfaced showing them striking and kicking Demetrius Hollins during a traffic stop in Lawrenceville.
"The revelations uncovered in this entire investigation are shocking," Gwinnett County Police spokesman Cpl. Deon Washington said when the video first surfaced. "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.
"We acknowledge that the actions of these two officers have implications that will be felt for some time," Washington said. "However, we also believe that our decisive action in terminating both officers speaks volumes about what is expected of each officer that wears a Gwinnett County Police badge."
The incident happened at the intersection of Sugarloaf Parkway and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.
The original video, which shows McDonald, as the second officer on the scene, running forward and stomping on the man’s head while he lay handcuffed on the ground, had been viewed more than 227,000 times Friday morning.
The second video appears to show Bongiovanni, apparently unprovoked, throwing a punch at the man while his hands are raised.
Bongiovanni was hired by Gwinnett Police in September 1998 and graduated the police academy February 1999.Washington said an ambulance was called to the scene and treated the injured man.
For more details on this story, see the article in The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
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