Family of deacon who died after being Tased files civil rights lawsuit against city, former officer

The family of Atlanta deacon, Johnny Hollman said the 62-year-old’s civil rights were violated when he died on Aug. 10, 2023.

On Thursday, the family, along with their attorneys, announced a lawsuit against the City of Atlanta, the Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum and former APD officer Karin Kimbrough.

“It ain’t right and we need them to make it right,” said Hollman’s daughter, Anitra Hollman.

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Johnny Hollman died after now-fired Atlanta police officer Kiran Kimbrough tased the 62-year-old, following a verbal dispute over a traffic citation on August 10th, 2023.

In the 63-page complaint filed this week, the attorneys for the Hollman family accused Officer Kimbrough of excessive force.

They also accused Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum and the City of Atlanta of a widespread pattern and practice of excessive force.

“A custom policy or practice by the city was the moving force behind the constitutional violation,” attorney Harold W. Spence said at a news conference on Thursday.

“So, while the chief, the city council and the mayor’s hands were not on that taser, their fingerprints are all over it,” attorney Mawuli Davis added.

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On Thursday, Channel 2′s Audrey Washington reached out to the Atlanta Police Department. An APD spokesperson said the department would not comment on pending litigation.

Washington also reached out to the office of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens.

In a statement, a spokesperson with the mayor’s office wrote:

“While we cannot comment on pending litigation, the Hollman family remains in the Mayor’s prayers.

When the incident occurred, the Mayor immediately directed a top-to-bottom review of the SOP’s involved in the interaction, as well as training curriculum.”

This led to the following changes:

  • Revising APD’s standard operating procedures regarding traffic citations, allowing officers to write “refusal to sign” in the signature line, rather than make an arrest.

  • Expediting the launch of APD’s civilian response unit which will provide service to Atlanta residents and neighborhoods. Yearly, police officers respond to tens of thousands of low risk calls for service. These calls monopolize significant patrol hours as they often carry a high level of administrative complexity. This unit, composed of unarmed specially trained civilians, will serve citywide by responding to minor traffic offenses, accidents and thefts from cars as well as handling various traffic management needs.

  • Developing new policy guidelines and procedures in partnership with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation when considering the public release of video evidence showing the use-of-force by an Atlanta police officer that has resulted in serious bodily injury or death, and which is subject to investigation by the GBI.”

“That’s it? What responsibility will the city own up to?” Davis asked when he heard the statement.

“We’re asking them to make it right. We’re asking for them to show up because they robbed us of something we can’t get back,” Anitra Hollman said.

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