Justice or Just a Settlement Atlanta Agrees to Pay $3.8 Million to Deacon's Family Post-police Scuffle

Justice or Just a Settlement? Atlanta Agrees to Pay $3.8 Million to Deacon’s Family Post-police Scuffle

The Atlanta Municipal Council has decided to pay $3.8 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a church deacon who was killed in a battle with a municipal police officer after a minor vehicle accident.

In January, Deacon Johnny Hollman’s family filed a lawsuit against the city, Officer Kiran Kimbrough, and Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum, alleging that Kimbrough used excessive force after the 62-year-old refused to sign a ticket finding him to blame for the incident.

According to Kimbrough’s attorney, Hollman resisted arrest, and Kimbrough acted appropriately when he used his stun gun and used force.

At its normal meeting on Monday, the municipal council approved the settlement unanimously and without debate.

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Mawuli Davis, an attorney for Hollman’s family, said in a statement that the settlement lets them “focus on healing from the devastating and senseless loss of their beloved father.”

Hollman’s daughter, Arnitra, thanked Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and the city council.

“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,” she said in a statement.

Body camera footage from Hollman’s arrest on August 10 shows Kimbrough shocking him with a stun gun after the deacon repeatedly stated that he couldn’t breathe. An autopsy determined that Hollman died as a result of a homicide, with heart disease also playing a role.

Relatives claim Hollman was heading home from Bible study at his daughter’s place and delivering dinner to his wife when he collided with another vehicle while crossing across a busy street just west of downtown.

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In the November body camera video, Kimbrough continually asks that Hollman sign the citation, but Hollman denies any wrongdoing. The two men began to scuffle.

Hollman ends himself face down on the ground, with Kimbrough pinning him down. He continually shouts “I can’t breathe,” and Kimbrough shocks him with a Taser. Hollman becomes unresponsive.

He had been declared dead at the hospital.

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