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Saturday
Apr152017

Georgia officials dismiss 89 cases linked to fired officers shown kicking, punching motorist 

The Gwinnett County Police Department(ATLANTA) -- Days after two officers in suburban Atlanta were fired when videos surfaced showing them kicking and punching a motorist, authorities have reportedly dismissed nearly 90 cases involving the pair.

The Gwinnett County Solicitor said she is dropping all cases in which Robert McDonald or Michael Bongiovanni were either the principal officer or a necessary witness. Sixty-three cases were dismissed in Gwinnett County Recorder's Court and 26 in Gwinnett County State Court, according to ABC affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta.

All were misdemeanor or traffic offenses, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

McDonald and Bongiovanni were fired Thursday after videos emerged online showing a man being punched and kicked during a traffic stop, police said.

The Gwinnett County Police Department in Lawrenceville, Georgia -- about 30 miles outside of Atlanta -- called the videos "shocking" and "disturbing" and announced today that two officers had been fired and that criminal investigations had begun.

The first video to surface shows an officer, identified as McDonald, kicking a handcuffed man in the head as he lays in the middle of a major roadway during a traffic stop.

A second video discovered by police, taken by a witness from a different angle, "shows the man getting out of the car with both hands up," according to police. "As he stands with his hands up, [Sergeant] Michael Bongiovanni strikes the man in the face," the police said in a statement.

Bongiovanni was hired in 1999 while McDonald joined the department in 2013.

Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers said of McDonald: "This officer and his actions do not represent the men and women of this police department who put their lives on the line."

He said McDonald apologized for what occurred and for embarrassing the department.

"It shouldn't have happened," Ayers said McDonald told him.

The Gwinnett Police Department said in a press release that it has launched a criminal investigation that will be handed over to the District Attorney's Office.

Bongiovanni and McDonald did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for comment.

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