Atlanta police, traffic stop, deacon killed

‘I Can’t Breathe’: Atlanta Deacon Dies After Being Tasered By Police Officer

Johnny Hollman, a 62-year-old church deacon, died after an encounter with an Atlanta police officer on Aug. 10, as reported by NBC News. The incident, captured on body camera footage, shows Hollman repeatedly pleading for help and expressing his inability to breathe.

Hollman’s family, after viewing the footage, is demanding its public release. Kiran Kimbrough, who used a stun gun on Hollman and handcuffed him following a minor traffic accident, has been fired by the Atlanta Police Department for not following standard operating procedures.

Arnitra Fallins, Hollman’s daughter, found the video deeply distressing and said she felt physically ill while watching it. She mentioned that her father had called her during the encounter, and the footage showed an officer grabbing him, further exacerbating her distress.

While the family is urging the video be shared, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has requested that it be withheld until its investigation concludes.

The Atlanta Police Department’s initial statement claimed that Hollman became “agitated and uncooperative” when Kimbrough issued a citation for his role in the accident. A struggle ensued when Kimbrough attempted to take Hollman into custody, leading to using a stun gun and handcuffs.

Only then did the officer realize Hollman was unresponsive and requested EMS. An autopsy determined Hollman’s death was a homicide, with heart disease contributing to it.

Attorney Mawuli Davis, representing the family, disputes the police’s version of events, saying that Kimbrough’s actions were unreasonable and illegal. He noted that the video showed Kimbrough escalating the situation. In the video, Hollman can be heard saying he’ll sign the ticket but is then taken to the ground by a leg sweep. Throughout the altercation, Hollman repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.”

The family believes the incident was murder and want Kimbrough charged. They remember Hollman as a “God-fearing man” and a leader in his community, emphasizing that his behavior during the encounter did not reflect his character. 

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