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Man beaten, kicked in head during 2017 Gwinnett County traffic stop settles lawsuit

Back in September Demetrius Hollins filed a suit against Gwinnett County, Gwinnett Police Chief Butch Ayers and officers involved in the incident.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A man who was beaten and kicked by officers over four years ago in Gwinnett County has settled a lawsuit with several other entities in the case. 

Back in September, Demetrius Hollins filed a suit against Gwinnett County, Gwinnett Police Chief Butch Ayers and officers involved in the incident in September.

On an April day in 2017, Hollins was driving when former officers Michael Bongiovanni and Robert McDonald with Gwinnett Police pulled him over.

Cell phone video footage of the arrest caught by bystanders shows Bongiovanni first hitting Hollins in the face with his forearm. More clips show McDonald later kicking Hollins in the head and then pointing a gun at his head.

McDonald was found guilty of aggravated assault, battery and violating his oath of office and was sentenced to 10 years probation. Bongiovanni, who testified against his ex-partner during a trial as part of a plea deal, pleaded no contest to aggravated assault and battery and was sentenced to six months in a work-release program with 10 years probation. Both of them were fired.   

The lawsuit asserted the then 22-year-old suffered severe burn marks to the back of his neck, a busted lip, severe swelling and bruising to most of his face, which caused permanent scarring to his chin, nose, and lower lip.

According to Hollins' attorneys Justin Miller and Dianna Lee, this settlement marks one of the largest ever in Gwinnett County for a non-lethal, non-gun related police incident.

"We are pleased that Gwinnett County has opted to resolve the lawsuit brought by Demetrius Hollins," Stewart and Miller said. "This settlement, which represents the final chapter in the quest for justice for Mr. Hollins, is one of the largest in Gwinnett County history for an incident of this nature. We will continue to hold officers and their departments accountable when they violate their oath to protect and serve their constituents."