Johnny Hollman: Bodycam footage released of tasing death of Atlanta deacon

After a one-day delay, the Fulton County District Attorney's office has released bodycam footage showing the moments leading up to the death of a 62-year-old deacon and grandfather.

What began as a minor traffic accident ended with Johnny Hollman dying in police custody.

WARNING: The police body camera video could be disturbing to some viewers.

On Aug. 10, Hollman got into an accident near Cunningham and Joseph E. Lowery boulevards.

Atlanta police say he was at fault. They say an officer tried to issue a citation, but claim Hollman refused to sign the ticket and grew agitated and uncooperative.

In the video, a frustrated Hollman argues with the officer, saying he wasn't at fault in the accident.

"You're not going to scream at me. You understand what I'm telling you? Now you're either going to sign the ticket or you're going to go to jail," Officer Kiran Kimbrough tells Hollman,

While repeating "sign the ticket," Kimbrough tries to grab onto Hollman, leading to what appeared to be a struggle, and ends with the officer forcing the 62-year-old man to the ground.

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(Atlanta Police Department)

"Why are you doing this to me, man? I'm an old man," Hollman shouts while the officer pulls out his Taser.

"Sign the ticket," Kimbrough shouts while sending out arcs with his Taser. "I'm going to Tase you. Put your arms behind your back now."

A panicking Hollman then tries to turn over, telling the officer "I can't breathe" multiple times.  Kimbrough responds by pulling out his Taser again.

After a few more seconds, Kimbrough fires his Taser while repeatedly shouting "Put your hands behind your back." 

After Hollman goes silent, Kimbrough calls for medics saying "I think he passed out on me."

"I took him to the ground and stuff. He grabbed my hand like he was going to hit me, so I punched him a couple times, Tased him, and put him in cuffs" Kimbrough told medics arriving at the scene.

Hollman was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

For months, Hollman's family has fought to get the body cam video released. This week, the District Attorney's office, the GBI, and the city of Atlanta finally agreed, citing an interest in transparency.

Arnitra Hoffman, who has seen part of the video, feels certain its release will clear her father's name.

"I’ve been trying to hold back the tears," she said. "It literally made me sick to my stomach."

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Family, friends and activists gathered at the First Iconium Baptist Church for a candlelight vigil hours less than a day before the video was expected to be released.

Arnitra Hollman says the video will clear her father’s name and bring justice.

"That whole situation could’ve been prevented. My father could still be here, living, breathing, talking and being around us," she said.

APD Chief Darin Schierbaum terminated Officer Kimbrough for failing to follow the department’s standard operating procedures.  According to the results of the administrative review, Kimbrough failed to have a supervisor on the scene prior to proceeding with the physical arrest of Hollman for refusing to sign a citation.

In a statement released at the same time as the video, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickeens says the investigation has led the city to change how the Atlanta Police Department handles traffic citations and to develop new policy guidelines involving the public release of video evidence connected to the use of force by Atlanta police officers.

"As Mayor, I know it is critically important for the City of Atlanta to continually assess, evaluate and adjust how our public safety departments carry out their sworn mission to serve and protect our citizens," Dickens wrote. When there is a tragic circumstance, we afford due process for the officers involved while also letting the evidence drive the decision. In this case, the evidence was clear regarding a violation of the department’s SOPs.

Hollman's family and their legal team held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon after the body camera footage was released. Watch the entire press conference below: