An autopsy has found that the Aug. 10 death of a 62-year-old church deacon who was electrically shocked by an Atlanta police officer was a homicide, although the medical examiner found that heart disease also contributed to his death.
Johnny Hollman became unresponsive while being arrested after a minor car crash. The officer shocked Hollman with an electrical stun gun and handcuffed him after Hollman refused to sign a traffic ticket.
The city has since changed its policy to let officers write “refusal to sign” on a traffic ticket instead of arresting someone who won’t sign. The policy requires officers to inform drivers that a signature is not an admission of guilt. It just acknowledges receipt of the ticket and court date.
The Atlanta City Council last week called on the city to release the video from the incident. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is examining the officer’s actions, has asked the Atlanta Police Department not to release the video until the state agency’s investigation is complete.
“We all want justice, and in order for there to be a just outcome, there are policies and procedures in place to ensure a proper and thorough investigation as well as due process in the upcoming administrative hearing,” Atlanta police said last week, according to CBS affiliate WANF-TV.
Although the video hasn’t been released, it has been shown to family members. Lawyers for Hollman’s family question how releasing the video could hamper the investigation when GBI has already interviewed witnesses.
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