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Family Of Church Deacon Who Died After Struggling With Atlanta Police Take Action

The family of a church deacon is taking action.



Sixty-two-year-old Johnny Hollman died after struggling with an Atlanta police officer after a minor car crash. In the aftermath, his family is suing the city, the officer and the police chief, according to NBC News.


Officer Kiran Kimbrough used excessive force when trying to get Hollman to sign a ticket after a situation that found him involved in a crash, which violated his constitutional rights, according to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. district court.


According to body camera footage recorded on August 10, it showed Kimbrough shocking Hollman with a stun gun after Hollman said many times that he couldn’t breathe. The autopsy determined Hollman’s death was a homicide, and that heart disease was a contributing factor.


Additionally, a family attorney said at a news conference that Police Chief Darin Scierbaum, Mayor Andrew Dickens and other city officials were responsible for Hollman’s death.


“While they did not stand over the top of Deacon Hollman as he took his last breath, they were there because they created the culture that allowed this officer to believe that his conduct would go unpunished,” attorney Mawuli Davis said.


Unspecified punitive damages and other compensation are sought, according to the suit.

Kimbrough's attorney, Lance LoRusso, said Hollman resisted arrest and Kimbrough acted within the confines of the law when he used his stun gun and force.


A spokesperson said that the mayor ordered a review of police procedures and training after Hollman’s death, which led to a new policy allowing police to write “refusal to sign” on traffic citations as opposed to just arresting someone.


According to relatives, Hollman was driving home from Bible study at his daughter’s house and taking dinner to his wife when he ran into another vehicle while he was turning on a busy street, which was just west of downtown.


The body camera video released in November showed Kimbrough demanding that Hollman sign the citation. Hollman said he didn’t do anything wrong, which led to tussling between the two.

Hollman ends up on the ground, saying, “I can’t breathe,” and Kimbrough uses a taser unnecessarily to shock him. Hollman then became unresponsive.


Hollmans’ family is also suing a tow truck driver who helped Kimbrough, calling on prosecutors to charge the cop with murder.


“It’s not a day that goes by that I don’t hear his voice in my head,” Arnitra Hollman, Hollman’s daughter, said. “Imagine listening to your father begging and pleading for help. Imagine hearing your father saying they can’t breathe.”

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