While 62 year-old Johnny Hollman Sr. died after being tased by former Atlanta Police Department officer Kiran Kimbrough on Aug. 10, jarring body camera footage of the incident was just released on Nov. 22.
On Friday, the Georgia NAACP issued a statement and said Hollman’s death “is not an isolated incident.” The statement continued: “It highlights the systemic issues that persist within our criminal justice system, particularly concerning racial profiling, excessive use of force, and the lack of accountability for those responsible.”
On the eve of Thanksgiving, Hollman’s family held a press conference following the footage’s release. His daughter, Arnitra Hollman, called for the officer to be prosecuted and jailed. “Let’s be clear: He was murdered on the streets of Atlanta,” she said.
“Now we’re asking for the officer to be jailed and prosecuted to the fullest extent,” she continued. “Kiran Kimbrough, he’s gonna sit at the table with his family, he’s going to eat a meal,” she said, invoking the holiday that was approaching. “He’s going to talk, and they’re gonna have memories, but we’re not going to have that.”
Hollman’s death was ruled a homicide by Atlanta’s Fulton County Medical Examiner after reviewing the then-unreleased body-cam footage and considering both the circumstances of his death and his pre-existing health conditions. Kimbrough has not been charged.
The Georgia NAACP said it’s “advocating for policy changes that address the root causes of systemic injustice. This includes reforms in releasing body camera footage within 72 hours, community policing initiatives, and the establishment of independent oversight bodies to ensure accountability in law enforcement practices.”
ABC News reported that Hollman had initiated the traffic stop, calling 911 after being hit by another driver. When Kimbrough, responding to the call, demanded Hollman to sign a traffic ticket saying he was at fault for the accident, Hollman initially refused.
In the newly released footage, Hollman is seen telling Kimbrough, “You’re trying to make me say I’m guilty of something I’m not guilty of,” before eventually agreeing to sign. Kimbrough’s camera moves towards Hollman, rustling is heard, and Kimbrough is seen taking Hollman’s arm. “How can I sign the ticket, you…” Hollman is heard saying before his voice becomes inaudible.
A struggle ensues after Hollman says that his dominant right hand “really hurts” and Kimbrough accuses him of “acting crazy.” Kimbrough is seen forcing Hollman to the ground, threatening to tase him and demanding him to sign while Hollman asks, “Why you hurting me like this man?” Hollman repeatedly calls out “I can’t breathe,” as Kimbrough commands him to sign, and eventually orders Hollman put his hands behind his back. He then tases Hollman from atop him.
In October, Kimbrough was fired from the Atlanta Police Department, or APD, for not following standard operating procedures by arresting Hollman without a supervisor on the scene.
The Atlanta City Council called on the city to release the footage in October as well, nearly two months after Hollman’s death. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which was examining the officer’s actions, asked APD to delay their release until their investigation concluded (which it did on Nov. 21).
Johnny Hollman Sr., was a deacon at his Atlanta church, driving home from Bible study on the night of his death, said relatives. He was married and had 26 grandchildren, reported 11 Alive.
According to ABC News, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution obtained a police report that detailed nine bags of marijuana, about 28 grams (1 ounce) of an unknown substance, 20 clear bags, a scale, and a gun had been recovered from Hollman’s impounded truck. Mawuli Davis, a lawyer for Hollman’s family, said that police returned the gun to its owner, one of Hollman’s grandsons. Davis called discussion of the report an attempt to malign Hollman, and said, “None of that had anything to do with this officer’s behavior.”