Maryland, Discrimination, Harassment, Lawsuit

City Of Atlanta To Pay Hollman Family $3.8M Settlement

The Hollman family is set to receive a $3.8 million settlement

As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, the family of Johnny Hollman has been seeking justice for his death in August 2023 after Atlanta Police Officer Kiran Kimborough tased him and following a January 2024 lawsuit they filed against the City of Atlanta, Officer Kimborough, and Atlanta’s Police Chief Darin Schierbaum, the family is set to receive a $3.8 million settlement.

During a city council meeting on May 6, the Atlanta City Council voted unanimously to award the Hollman family the settlement and did not issue a comment on the matter, Associated Press reported. The family attorney Mawauli Davis, said in a statement to the AP that the settlement will let the family “focus on healing from the devastating and senseless loss of their beloved father.”

Arnitra Hollman, the daughter of Johnny, issued a statement during which she functioned as the family spokesperson, thanking the council and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens.

“On behalf of my siblings and our entire family, we want to thank all the people across Atlanta who have supported us in our fight for justice for our father.”

According to WABE, an autopsy discovered that although heart disease was a contributing factor in Hollman’s death, his death was ruled as a homicide. After the body cam footage was released in November 2023, the footage depicted Kimborough tazing Hollman as he lay on the ground repeatedly shouting, “I can’t breathe,” in the direction of the officer before he appeared to become unconscious. 

Harold Spence, who represents the family alongside Davis, told WABE that their civil case also established that Kimborough was not fired for anything he did to Hollman but for a failure to follow police department protocol.

“We saw that Kimbrough was terminated not because of Deacon Hollman’s death, not for striking him in the head multiple times with a closed fist, not for tasing him multiple times, not for unnecessary violence he inflicted upon him. He was fired for the administrative failure to call a supervisor to the scene.”

Davis, meanwhile, pointed to the civil suit’s focus on accountability, hoping its conclusion will allow the family to heal and the legal team to focus on the impending criminal trial.

“From a legal standpoint, we have always been pushing for accountability,” Davis said.

“We believe this resolution, that was unanimously passed by city council, speaks to that…it’s important to close this chapter on the civil side so that [the family] may focus their energy, and we may focus on the criminal prosecution in this case.”

Hollman and the family’s attorneys also thanked several organizations in the Atlanta area for their assistance, including the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, The Southern Center for Human Rights, and The Black Man Lab. 

“The emotions are still high, all over the place,” Hollman said.

“But going forward, we just got to stay together, we got to stay strong, and we got to continue to fight … that’s when we will have our peace, and that is when our father’s spirit to us will really rest in peace.”

They’ve (the aforementioned organizations) opened up their meetings; they brought this family in so that they could hear directly from the family,” Davis said. “If this is to be claimed for any type of victory for justice, it is a people’s victory, but it is not over yet.”

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