A Gwinnett County police officer was fired Thursday afternoon after video appeared to capture him kicking a handcuffed man in the head.
Former Master Police Officer Robert McDonald will also face a criminal investigation launched by Gwinnett PD that will be sent to the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s office, said Cpl. Deon Washington.
McDonald had been working at the department since August 2013. He graduated from the police academy in March 2014.
Wednesday at about 4 p.m., McDonald was working as a backup officer to assist a supervisor with a traffic stop at the intersection of Sugarloaf Parkway and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. Video shows him kicking the driver in the head after the man was already handcuffed and lying face-down on the ground.
“The video was very crucial to the investigation and it confirmed that the force used was unnecessary and excessive,” Washington said.
After the arrest, police said the shift commander initiated an immediate investigation into the incident. Washington said McDonald was placed on administrative leave, his department issued firearm was taken and he was sent home.
Now, he won’t be coming back.
“Robert McDonald stepped outside of the guiding principles of our agency and as a result of his actions he was terminated less than 24 hours after the incident occurred,” Washington said. “The actions by this former officer do not represent the officers of this department who dedicate their lives to serving the community on a daily basis.”
Sir Maejor, president of local advocacy group Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, said he was pleased with the swift action of the Gwinnett County Police Department. He said the group called the department last night to report the video.
He also said the group demanded criminal charges be brought against McDonald.
“I think Gwinnett County is in position right now to set the example for how the police should respond when it comes to police brutality,” he said.
The driver in the video was identified by police as Demetrius Bryan Hollins, of Lawrenceville.
Hollins was booked into the Gwinnett County jail on Wednesday. He is charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and driving on a suspended or revoked license. Other charges include failure to signal, a problem with brake lights and a suspended or revoked registration.