Atlanta reaches $3.8M settlement with family of church deacon fatally tased by officer

Francis Akhalbey May 08, 2024
Johnny Hollman, 62, died after he was tased by an Atlanta police officer -- Photo via 11Alive

The Atlanta City Council has reached a $3.8 million settlement with the family of a church deacon whom a police officer fatally tased when the two got into a physical struggle after a minor crash, The Associated Press reported. 

As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, the August 2023 incident occurred after Johnny Hollman, a deacon at The Lively Stones of God Ministries Church of Atlanta, contacted police to report an accident he had gotten involved in. Atlanta police officer Kiran Kimbrough responded to the accident scene and later tried to issue the deceased 62-year-old a citation after establishing he caused the accident. But Hollman refused to sign the citation.

Hollman’s family in the January lawsuit accused Kimbrough of using excessive force after the church deacon declined to sign the citation. Besides Kimbrough, other defendants named in the lawsuit were the city as well as Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum.

Kimbrough’s attorney, however, denied the allegations, stating that Hollman resisted arrest and Kimbrough did not violate any department policy when he tased the 62-year-old and applied force.

The settlement was on Monday unanimously approved by the city council during a meeting, The Associated Press reported. Mawuli Davis, an attorney for Hollman’s family, said in a statement that the settlement would grant the family the opportunity to “focus on healing from the devastating and senseless loss of their beloved father.”

“On behalf of my siblings and our entire family, we want to thank all the people across Atlanta who have supported us in our fight for justice for our father,” Hollman’s daughter, Arnitra, also said in the statement. 

In the wake of the fatal encounter that was captured on body camera video, Atlanta police said the struggle between the 62-year-old church deacon and Kimbrough lasted “several minutes.” The struggle later left Hollman in an unresponsive state, and he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The 62-year-old’s cause of death was ruled as cardiac dysrhythmia stemming from the tasing.

Besides “failing to follow the department’s standard operating procedures”, the Atlanta Police Department also said Kimbrough “violated standard operating procedure when he failed to have a supervisor on the scene prior to proceeding with the physical arrest after Mr. Hollman failed to sign the citation.”  Kimbrough was ultimately fired.

But Hollman’s family registered their displeasure over Kimbrough’s termination at a press conference, 11Alive reported at the time. Anitra had initially claimed that her father called her during his encounter with Kimbrough, adding that she heard her father say he couldn’t breathe during the struggle.

“We don’t want him to work at another police department,” Anitra said. “Yes, we want him prosecuted. Yes, we want him in jail.” 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 8, 2024


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