Gwinnett police officers charged with battery, violation of oath of office
Two Gwinnett County police officers have been charged after two videos surfaced on the internet of one officer striking the face of a suspect with hands up, and the other officer kicking the suspect while he was handcuffed.
Robert McDonald, 25, and Michael Bongiovanni, 42, were charged with violation of oath of office and battery. The bond for both officers was set at $15,000.
The Gwinnett County Police Department completed their investigation on Wednesday, and are giving the officers the opportunity to turn themselves in Thursday at the jail in Lawrenceville.
Violation of oath of office is a felony charge, and battery is a misdemeanor charge.
“The police department and its employees will continue to serve the citizens while maintaining our core values and highest level of professionalism,” said Gwinnett Police Chief Butch Ayers.
McDonald and Bongiovanni were terminated from the Gwinnett County Police Department earlier this month. The Gwinnett County Solicitor’s Office announced that 89 cases involving McDonald and Bongiovani were dismissed.
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The release states, “The actions of these officers completely undermine their credibility and they cannot be relied upon as witnesses in any pending prosecution.”
The incident happened around 4 p.m. at the busy intersection of Sugarloaf Parkway at Lawrenceville Suwanee Road.
The first officer fired, McDonald, was seen in the first video responding as backup to help a supervisor during a traffic stop. A witness stuck in traffic captured video of McDonald kicking suspect Demetrius Bryan Hollins in the head.
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Bongiovanni was fired Thursday evening after a second video surfaced, according to police. The video was filmed by a witness and shows the suspect getting out of the car with both hands up. As he stands with his hands up, Michael Bongiovanni strikes the man in the face, according to police.