A recent autopsy has concluded that the death of Johnny Hollman, a 62-year-old church deacon who was subjected to electrical shock by an Atlanta police officer on August 10th, was a homicide. However, the medical examiner’s report also revealed that heart disease played a contributing role in his demise.
The tragic incident unfolded when Johnny Hollman became unresponsive during his arrest following a minor car collision. An Atlanta police officer employed an electrical stun gun on Hollman and subsequently handcuffed him after he refused to sign a traffic ticket.
In response to this incident, the city has made significant policy changes. Officers are now allowed to indicate “refusal to sign” on a traffic ticket instead of immediately arresting individuals who decline to sign. This revised policy necessitates that officers inform drivers that their signature merely acknowledges receipt of the ticket and the court date, without implying guilt.
In recent developments, the Atlanta City Council has called for the release of video footage depicting the incident. Meanwhile, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, responsible for scrutinizing the actions of the involved officer, has requested that the Atlanta Police Department withhold the video until their inquiry is concluded.
Hollman’s tragic death has intensified existing discontent with the police among some residents of Atlanta, particularly regarding a proposal to construct a public safety training center.
Dr. Melissa Sims-Stanley, the medical examiner, reached her conclusion after reviewing the video footage and engaging in a conversation with a GBI investigator. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she determined that Hollman became unresponsive shortly after being subjected to the electrical shock.
Arnitra Fallins, Hollman’s daughter, stated that her father was on his way home after purchasing fried chicken and an apple pie when the car accident occurred. Fallins reported that Hollman had contacted the police to investigate the accident, but the situation escalated when the police found him at fault and attempted to issue a citation. Hollman’s refusal to sign the ticket led to a physical struggle between him and the officer, Kiran Kimbrough, as per the GBI’s account. It was during this altercation that Kimbrough used the stun gun on Hollman. Currently, Kimbrough is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Legal representatives for the Hollman family assert that it was Kimbrough who initiated the confrontation when Hollman requested the presence of a police sergeant at the scene due to his disagreement with the officer’s assessment of fault. Attorney Mawuli Davis stated, “You can hear Mr. Hollman begging for him to stop.”
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Fallins, who was on the phone with her father during the incident, rushed to the scene upon hearing his cries for help. She shared her experience, saying, “You know, when you hear something, you can imagine like what’s happening, but to actually witness it, you know, the piece from the body cam. Now we get the results back from the autopsy. Again, it confirms what I already knew.”
Despite the video not yet being released to the public, it has been made available to family members. Lawyers representing the Hollman family question how the video’s release could impede the investigation, particularly when the GBI has already conducted interviews with witnesses.