by Iman Milner
December 6, 2023
The filing claims the driver arrived on the scene and sat on the victim’s head and neck, ignoring his screams of ‘I can’t breathe.’
The family of 62-year-old Georgia church deacon Johnny Hollman Sr. has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a tow truck driver they allege intervened during the traffic stop that led to his death. The filing claims that the tow truck driver arrived on the scene and sat on Hollman’s head and neck, ignoring his screams of “I can’t breathe,” The Associated Press reports.
An autopsy ruled the Georgia man’s death a homicide in October. Hollman’s family claims the tow truck driver “immediately joined the officer,” pressing “his full body weight” on top of Hollman’s body and “forcefully grabbed” Hollman’s left arm without the officer appearing to ask for help. The driver remained on the man’s body while he was being handcuffed. Atlanta Police Officer Kiran Kimbrough’s bodycam footage allegedly corroborates the family’s claims.
The fatal traffic stop happened following a minor car crash on Aug. 10 involving Hollman and another driver. After insisting that he was not at fault for the collision, the Georgia man refused to sign a traffic ticket presented to him by Kimbrough. An alleged tussle between the men ensued, with the officer wrestling the 62-year-old Black man to the ground and tasing him with an electrical stun gun. The city of Atlanta fired Kimbrough on Oct. 10 and changed their policy on requiring signatures on traffic tickets, allowing officers to write “refusal to sign” on the documents instead, the Associated Press reports.
The Hollman family’s case against the former law enforcement officer and the tow truck driver has been turned over to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who has the power to determine whether or not to pursue charges. For Hollman’s family, the passing of their patriarch has haunted them and further cemented suspicions of foul play by law enforcement.
“You know, when you hear something, you can imagine like what’s happening,” said Arnitra Fallins, Hollman’s daughter, according to WXIA-TV. “But to actually, you know, witness it, you know, the piece from the body cam. Now we get the results back from the autopsy. Again, it confirms what I already knew.”
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