Atlanta officer fired for death of church deacon, 62, tasered during dispute over traffic ticket

Atlanta officer fired for death of church deacon, 62, tasered during dispute over traffic ticket

(As originally published with additional photos, Fri, October 13th 2023, 6:22 PM EDT)

ATLANTA (TND) — The Atlanta Police Department has fired one of its officers, months after a deadly taser incident on a driver who’d been involved in a crash.

This week, it said Officer Kiran Kimbrough did not follow the department’s standard operating procedures during the arrest of Johnny Hollman, who died following the incident.

That happened on August 10, 2023, and Kimbrough specifically

“failed to have a supervisor on the scene prior to proceeding with the physical arrest after Mr. Hollman failed to sign the citation.”

Relatives say Johnny Hollman, a church deacon, was driving home from Bible study at his daughter’s house and bringing dinner to his wife when he collided with another vehicle while turning across a busy street. It took an hour for a police officer to arrive.

A department statement shortly after the tragedy said the crash happened late at night and the officer

“determined the at-fault driver. The officer attempted to issue a traffic citation to the at-fault driver. However, the driver became agitated and uncooperative.

”The officer attempted to take the driver into custody, but he resisted, and a struggle ensued. After several minutes struggling with the driver, the officer utilized his taser and, with the help of a witness, placed him into handcuffs.”

“Once the driver was in handcuffs, the officer realized he was unresponsive and requested EMS to the scene. The driver was taken to Grady Hospital and has been pronounced deceased.”

Atlanta Police Department reports by Lenny Cohen on Scribd

The results of homicide investigations by the Fulton County District Attorney and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are pending.

Video taken from a body camera will not be released until all witnesses have been interviewed.

Atlanta officer fired for death of church deacon, 62, tasered during dispute over traffic ticket
Former Officer Kiran Kimbrough, left, (Atlanta Police Department via AP) and Johnny Hollman Sr. in an undated photo at the church where he was a deacon. (Arnitra Hallman/Davis Bozeman Johnson Law via AP)

Relatives of Hollman have seen the video and they want Kimbrough charged with murder.

”This is not the end. We’ve got to keep fighting. We’ve got to keep pushing. We’ve got to keep going,” daughter Arnitra Hollman said. “Because this is just one of the things that we wanted, which was the termination. But this is not all that we’re looking for. We want justice, and we want justice now for our father.”

Audio from calls to 911 about the crash have been released.

Kimbrough’s lawyer said the officer “vehemently denies any wrongdoing or policy violations” and plans to appeal his firing.

The Associated Press reported Kimbrough, who is Black, was hired as an Atlanta police cadet in March 2021 and became an officer that October. He was suspended for a day in 2022 after a vehicle accident, got a written reprimand in March after an unspecified citizen complaint, and was verbally reprimanded in April after a second citizen complaint.

The AP also said an autopsy determined Hollman’s death was a homicide, but the medical examiner found heart disease also contributed. The medical examiner also reportedly concluded Hollman was unresponsive after he was stunned, based on watching the video and speaking to a GBI investigator.

Since Hollman’s death, police procedure was changed. Now, drivers “sign the citation only to acknowledge receipt of the citation and awareness of the court date. If the violator refuses to sign the citation, the APD officer will inform the driver that signing the citation is not an admission of guilt.

“However, if the driver still refuses to sign the citation, the APD officer will write ‘refusal to sign’ in the signature line in Section IV, Summons of the Uniform Traffic Citation, and issue a copy of charges in lieu of a physical arrest.”

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