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Some Ga. PDs will no longer arrest traffic offenders who refuse to sign tickets

The Atlanta PD changed its policy and the South Fulton city council passed a resolution no longer allowing the arrests after a man died when a TASER was deployed at him

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“This is a no brainer to me,” Willis said during the council meeting. “It also promotes de-escalation.”


By David Aaro
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

SOUTH FULTON, Ga. — The South Fulton city council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday that will no longer allow city police officers to arrest drivers who refuse to sign traffic tickets.

The decision comes after the death of 62-year-old church deacon Johnny Hollman, who was stunned with a Taser and put into handcuffs by an Atlanta police officer after refusing to sign a ticket following a minor crash Aug. 10 in southwest Atlanta.

After the deacon’s death, and a review of the incident ordered by Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, the Atlanta Police Department changed its policy, instructing officers not to arrest drivers for refusing to sign traffic citations. The department said officers will simply write “refusal to sign” on the ticket.

South Fulton followed suit Tuesday, officially passing the resolution that was named after Hollman and sponsored by Councilwoman Zenobia Willis.

“This is a no brainer to me,” Willis said during the council meeting. “It also promotes de-escalation.”

Atlanta police Officer Kiran Kimbrough had determined that Hollman was the at-fault driver in the crash and tried to issue him a citation, explaining that it was not an admission of guilt, according to bodycam footage of the traffic stop.

“You’re going to sign this ticket or I’m going to take you to jail ... You can come to court and fight the ticket,” Kimbrough was heard saying in the footage, as Hollman stated he “didn’t do nothing.”

Later, Kimbrough was seen grabbing Hollman’s arm while repeating, “Sign the ticket.” Hollman was then heard agreeing to sign, but the situation escalated and Kimbrough appeared to force Hollman to the ground. Shortly after, the officer said he would use his Taser.

In South Fulton, Willis said there is no admission of guilt now if a motorist doesn’t sign the ticket. Similar to Atlanta police, officers will just mark off that the person refused and move on. The resolution was backed by South Fulton police Chief Keith Meadows, she added.

Going forward, the councilwoman said she wants to expand the policy and has even spoken with a lawmaker to work “towards making this a state law.”

“It is my hope and desire that cities go ahead and adopt this,” Willis added.


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