Cries for justice will continue to be heard when family members and concerned Atlanta citizens march from City Hall to the police department’s downtown headquarters on Thursday (Aug. 24). The organized protest is in response to public demands for the release of footage detailing the deadly encounter a 62-year-old man had with an officer nearly two weeks ago.
Johnny Hollman died after he was tased by police on Aug. 10. APD claimed that “several minutes of struggling” occurred when they arrived at the scene of a car accident that the older gentleman was involved in. The Lively Stones of God Ministries deacon was headed home after attending bible study with his daughter, Anitra Hollman.
The minor crash involved his vehicle being struck by another motorist. Johnny called his daughter to inform her of the incident. He also called the police for their assistance. At some point, after officers arrived, the situation escalated, and Johnny was tased and handcuffed, according to WSB-TV. Soon after, he was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“We are here once again because the city of Atlanta, the mayor of Atlanta, [and] the city council refuse to deal with the crooked police department. It’s [a] murderous police department. It’s [an] overpolicing police department. They refuse to deal with it, and it leaves us, as the people here in Atlanta, to deal with [it] ourselves,” said Community Movement Builders organizer Kamau Franklin during an Aug. 18 press conference. “The fact that a simple traffic stop would lead to the killing, the murder, of a father, a grandfather, shows that the city police is out of control,” he added.
Anitra also spoke about the last moments she had with her father. “I heard my daddy in distress. I heard my daddy tell him he couldn’t breathe. I heard my daddy beg for help,” she said through tears. “When I made it to see my daddy there, oh my God, I saw him on the ground. I knew my daddy was gone. My first initial words [were], ‘Y’all killed my daddy.’”
The family has retained attorney Mawuli Davis as they press police to release footage of the deadly encounter. The officer, whose identity has not yet been made public, was placed on administrative leave per APD policy. “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Mr. Johnny Hollman. It is troubling anytime that someone dies while interacting with a police officer. We take instances like this very seriously, and we understand the importance of an independent, thorough investigation. We owe that to the person’s loved ones, and we owe that to the community,” read a statement for the department. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the incident and the officer’s use of force.
A memorial fund seeking $20,000 has been launched. To donate, click here.
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