Atlanta Cop Fired – Black Church Deacon Dies after Shocked by Stun Gun in Traffic Dispute

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By The Vanguard Staff

ATLANTA, CA — While the community here waits for the release this week of body camera footage, Atlanta’s police chief Tuesday fired an officer who shocked a 62-year-old Black church deacon with a stun gun and killed the man, after a minor traffic accident.

According to the Associated Press, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said Officer Kiran Kimbrough “didn’t follow department procedures Aug. 10 when he didn’t wait until a supervisor arrived to arrest Johnny Hollman, Sr. The chief said he decided to fire Kimbrough after an internal investigation concluded Monday.”

Schierbaum’s decision, writes the AP, “comes days before video that Kimbrough’s body camera recorded of his interactions with Hollman could be released. 

Mawuli Davis, a lawyer for the Hollman family, said Monday Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said the video would be publicly released as soon as Willis concludes that all witnesses have been interviewed, maybe Thursday of this week.

“Part of my job is to assess, evaluate, and adjust how this police department is carrying out its sworn mission to serve and protect the citizens of this city,” Schierbaum said in a statement. “I understand the difficult and dangerous job that our officers do each and every day throughout the city. I do not arrive at these decisions lightly.”

“Relatives of Hollman have seen the video and contend Kimbrough should be charged with murder. Daughter Arnitra Hollman said at a Tuesday news conference that the family is far from satisfied with Kimbrough’s firing,” reported the AP.

Kimbrough, who is Black, became an officer a year ago, and was suspended for a day in 2022 after a vehicle accident, received a written reprimand in March after an unspecified citizen complaint and was verbally reprimanded in April after a second citizen complaint. 

Relatives say Hollman, a church deacon, was “driving home from Bible study at his daughter’s house and bringing dinner to his wife when he collided with another vehicle while turning across a busy street just west of downtown Atlanta,” wrote AP. 

The police department said Officer Kimbrough shocked Hollman with a stun gun and handcuffed him after Hollman “became agitated and uncooperative” when Kimbrough issued a ticket finding him at fault for the wreck.  

The police said Hollman refused to sign the citation, although family attorney Davis said the video will show Hollman repeatedly agreed to sign, calling the police account a “false narrative.” Atlanta police officials have since said officers should write “refusal to sign” on a traffic ticket instead of arresting someone who won’t sign.

An autopsy determined that Hollman’s death was a homicide, although the medical examiner found that heart disease also contributed to it, noting Medical Examiner Dr. Melissa Sims-Stanley said Hollman was unresponsive after he was stunned, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. 

Davis said Hollman tried to tell the officer that he had asthma and couldn’t breathe, and Arnitra Hollman said in the AP story the video will dispel the idea that her father did something wrong, adding, “We want the narrative that’s been placed out there, that’s been put out there on his name, we want that narrative changed. We want his name restored. We want our father to be able to rest in peace.

“This is not the end. We’ve got to keep fighting. We’ve got to keep pushing. We’ve got to keep going because this is just one of the things that we wanted, which was the termination. But this is not all that we’re looking for. We want justice, and we want justice now for our father.”

Kimbrough’s attorney, Lance LoRusso, said in a statement Tuesday Kimbrough “vehemently denies any wrongdoing or policy violations” and plans to appeal his firing.

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