Man kicked by Gwinnett officers while handcuffed settles lawsuit with department

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County man has settled a lawsuit with the county more than four years after video showed former officers kicking and punching him while he was handcuffed.

On April 12, 2017, Demetrius Hollins was in the turn lane of Sugarloaf Parkway at Lawrenceville Suwanee Road when he was stopped by then-Gwinnett police Officer Michael Bongiovanni.

A confrontation was videotaped by witnesses. Videos that surfaced on social media showed Bongiovanni hit Demetrius Hollins in the face before Officer Robert McDonald kicked him in the head while he was on the ground in handcuffs.

Bongiovanni and McDonald were fired by the department. Bongiovanni accepted a plea deal and a jury found McDonald guilty of assault in 2019.

Hollins filed a lawsuit in September against Gwinnett County, Gwinnett Police Chief Butch Ayers and officers involved.

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Hollins filed a lawsuit in September against Gwinnett County, Gwinnett Police Chief Butch Ayers and officers involved. The parties reached a settlement this week.

Hollis’ attorneys did not say how much the lawsuit was settled for but said it’s one of the largest in Gwinnett County for a “non-lethal, non-gun related police incident.”

“This settlement, which represents the final chapter in the quest for justice for Mr. Hollins, is one of the largest in Gwinnett County history for an incident of this nature. We will continue to hold officers and their departments accountable when they violate their oath to protect and serve their constituents,” Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys said in a statement.

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