Man punched, kicked during traffic stop speaks out -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man punched, kicked during traffic stop speaks out


With his face still bloodied and bruised three days after his encounter with two former Gwinnett County police officers, 21-year-old Demetrius Hollins told cameras how his arrest this week has changed his life.

"Even now, there are still many people who see me as a criminal, not as a college student or as a son."

In a police report, former Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni said he pulled Hollins over on Wednesday for driving without a license plate, without a tag and for switching lanes without using a signal.

"I was punched, tased, kicked in the head and incarcerated for no reason," Hollins said.

Hollins was not able to answer questions from reporters. His attorney, Justin Miller instead explained what happened. Miller said after getting pulled over, Hollins recognized Bongiovanni from a previous encounter in 2016. He claimed Hollins was choked during that traffic stop and said his client wanted to record this encounter.

"Officer Bongiovanni tells him you're not going to use your phone and reaches in the car to try to stop him from using the phone," Miller said. "That's what started the incident."

Hollins also said there were no drugs in his car despite the arrest report saying he was in possession of marijuana.

His mother, Tamara Crenshaw, said she is still shaken up about what happened to her son.

"This situation has left me and our family broken," she said.

Miller commends the Gwinnett County Police Department for the officers' swift firing but said he wants more transparency. They're asking for the police department's hiring policies as it relates to mental health and disciplinary records, among other requests.

"We want both of these officers criminally charged with assaulting Demetrius and violating his civil rights because make no mistake, what they did was a crime."

Hollins and Miller have not yet filed a lawsuit. Miller said they are waiting for the investigation to conclude before they decide if they will.

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