Family of church deacon who died after being tased by police prepares to view body camera video

An Atlanta family is preparing to view police body camera video of their loved one’s last moments alive.

“It’s scary,” said Myteka Burdett.

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Her father was Johnny Hollman. He was a deacon at Lovely Stones of God and was 62 years old when he died in Aug. 10 after an Atlanta Police Officer tased him.

“To actually get a call that your dad died in the middle of the streets of Atlanta, that’s hard,” said Burdett.

Burdett, her siblings and her mother were part of a march through downtown Atlanta Thursday evening. A group of college students from across the city organized it to start at the Atlanta University Center just before rush hour.

“This is tremendous. I can’t really believe the support we’re getting,” said Burdett.

It’s the second march for transparency since Hollman’s death.

A Morehouse College Junior, Daxton Pettus, told Channel 2′s Courtney Francisco, “Johnny Hollman’s story is not one that is new to the public, but it’s one that has been thrown under the rug. So, we’re trying to raise awareness.”

Another student, Malik Poole, said, “If our elders aren’t safe, then none of us are safe.”

911 calls show Hollman called for help after a fender bender in Southwest Atlanta before he died.

Atlanta Police Department said in a statement released the next day that the officer who arrived at the crash claims Hollman became agitated and uncooperative. APD said the officer tried to arrest him, there was a struggle and the officer tased him.

APD said, with the help of a witness, the officer cuffed Hollman. Then, the officer realized he was unresponsive. Paramedics took him to Grady where doctors pronounced him dead.

On Aug. 22, Mayor Andre Dickens announced that he asked Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbum to conduct an evaluation of the interaction with Hollman, “including a review of the department’s standard operating procedures and training curriculum.”


Dickens said then that the officer involved would receive due process. APD has not confirmed the name of that officer.

APD said in a statement after the death: “We take instances like this very seriously, and we understand the importance of an independent, thorough investigation. We owe that to the person’s loved ones and we owe that to the community. The GBI’s independent investigation into the death of Mr. Hollman remains open, and we will await their findings.”

Thursday, students marching said they hoped people passing by noticed.

“I hope they have a sense of urgency to fix the system and hold the system accountable,” said Kannette King.

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