What we know about Atlanta man's death at hands of police

ByNadine El-Bawab ABCNews logo
Friday, September 22, 2023

The family of Johnny Hollman, the 62-year-old Atlanta man who died last month after he was shocked with a stun gun by a police officer, is planning a march Saturday, calling for the public release of body camera footage of the altercation.

"My father is a true son of Atlanta. He grew up in Bankhead Courts and he was respected throughout our community. As a family, we called for this March because the video should be released so Atlanta can truly be transparent," Arnitra Hollman, Hollman's daughter, said in a statement Friday. "We are asking for Atlanta to turn out for our family."

Earlier this month, Hollman's family was shown the body-worn camera footage of the interaction between Hollman and an Atlanta Police Department officer that occurred after Hollman was in a minor car accident.

After finishing bible study, Hollman was on his way home when he got into a minor car accident, according to his family.

Hollman called 911 and waited for over an hour for police to arrive, his family says. When officers arrived on the scene, they determined Hollman was at fault and issued him a traffic ticket, according to Atlanta police.

Hollman asked to see a sergeant, but the officer allegedly ignored him and told Hollman he would be taken to jail if he did not sign the ticket, according to the family.

Despite allegedly telling the officer he would sign the ticket, the officer grabbed him and took him to the ground and began using a stun gun on him, according to the family.

Hollman allegedly told the officer "I can't breathe" as many as 16 times, according to a statement from his family.

Hollman was later pronounced dead at Grady Hospital.

Atlanta police say Hollman became "agitated and uncooperative" before the officer attempted to take him into custody.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation also said amid the investigation into the car accident Hollman became "non-compliant" and the officer attempted to take him into custody.

"There was a physical strugglebetweenHollmanand the officer. Hollman refused to comply with the officer's commands. The officer attempted to use a Taser asHollmancontinued to resistarrest," GBI said in a statement last month.

Atlanta police said the officer struggled with Hollman for several minutes before using his stun gun and putting Hollman in handcuffs, with the help of a witness.

"After the officertook Hollman into custody,police determined that Hollmanhad becomeunresponsive.Police calledEMS personnel,and Hollman was taken to a local hospital where he died," GBI said.

After Hollman's death, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens directed police to evaluate the interaction with Hollman and conduct a review of its operating procedures. The Atlanta Police Department updated its procedures regarding traffic citations, allowing officers to write "refusal to sign" in the signature line instead of making an arrest.

Officers will have a driver sign the citation to acknowledge receipt and gain awareness of the court date. Officers are to inform drivers that signing the citation is not an admission of guilt. If they continue to refuse, then the officer will write "refusal to sign" and issue a copy of the charges, instead of making a physical arrest.

Atlanta police said they will publicly share the results of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Atlanta Police Department's investigations into Hollman's death once they conclude.

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