A former Atlanta police officer has pleaded guilty to kicking and choking an unarmed teenager to the point that he fell unconscious while he was arresting him following a car chase.
Matthew Johns, 33, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to aggravated assault over the 2016 incident involving the teenager.
Johns, who was a nine-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department before he was fired in July 2017, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 29.
Matthew Johns, 33, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to aggravated assault over the 2016 incident in Atlanta where he choked an unarmed 15-year-old until he fell unconscious
Officers were chasing a suspected stolen BMW in September 2016 when a state trooper finally got the vehicle to stop by striking it from behind.
The 15-year-old passenger, identified as Antraveious Payne, exited the car and lay on the ground with his hands up.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said that despite the teen’s surrender, Johns ran towards the boy and kicked him in the head three times.
He then pressed his knee into the teenager’s neck.
The boy fell unconscious and suffered several injuries during the ordeal, including cuts, bruises, a neck strain and serious concussion.
Johns kicked 15-year-old Antraveious Payne in the head three times and then pressed his knee into the teenager’s neck as he went to arrest him over a stolen vehicle. The boy suffered several injuries during the ordeal
The incident was captured on the officer’s squad car dash camera.
Johns initially said in his report that he thought the boy was reaching for a gun but that was countered by other officers on the scene who said he never resisted.
His fellow officers agreed to testify against him after viewing the dashcam footage.
The teen addressed the court on Wednesday, saying: ‘I forgive him for what he did to me, but I feel like it wrong and he should be punished for what he did’.
Johns, who is also a former Marine, was placed on administrative leave while the investigation took place but was later fired.
Johns, who was a nine-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department before he was fired in July 2017, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 29. He is pictured in court on Thursday