Officer Matthew Johns was charged for a 2016 incident during which he kicked 15-year-old Antraveious Payne.
A former police officer from Atlanta has been given a 20-year prison sentence for kicking an unarmed minor in the head. According to reports, Officer Matthew Johns was charged for a 2016 incident during which he kicked 15-year-old Antraveious Payne.
Fulton county prosecutors play video of fired APD officer Matthew Johns kicking teen suspect in the head after a police chase in 2017. Johns is pleading guilty to aggravated assault of then 15-yr old Antreveious Payne. @FOX5Atlanta pic.twitter.com/hLqfvFd7I1— Aungelique Proctor (@aungeliquefox5) July 10, 2019
The victim was pulled over by the police for driving a stolen vehicle. Payne immediately surrendered to the officers. The 15-year-old was on his stomach with his hands above his head to show the authorities that he was unarmed. Dashcam footage of the arrest shows Officer Johns kicking Payne as he lay on the ground.
Payne was subsequently hospitalized following the incident and was treated for a concussion, a neck strain, cuts, and a bloody mouth.
Happening now: Fired Atlanta Police Officer Matthew Johns is expected to plead guilty in Fulton County to the aggravated assault of a teen after a 2016 police chase. One prosecutor said Johns kicked Antraveious Payne’s head as he lay on the ground “like a field goal” @wsbradio pic.twitter.com/1ZJvEY42GH— Veronica Waters (@MissVWaters) July 10, 2019
Paul L. Howard Jr., the Fulton County District Attorney released a statement which praised the criminal justice system. He said: "While criminal justice systems across this country struggle to investigate, prosecute, and hold police officers accountable, in Fulton County a law enforcement officer pleaded guilty today. There were no demonstrations or marches by concerned citizens, no chants, or any destruction of property."
GRAPHIC WARNING: These are some of then injuries 15 y/o Antraveious Payne suffered after being kicked in the head repeatedly by then Atlanta Officer Matthew Johns in 2016. Johns was fired and today pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and strangulation. My report at 5 on @cbs46 pic.twitter.com/DWbLW9265f— Hayley Mason (@HayleyMasonTV) July 10, 2019
Howard's statement continued: "It was not necessary because the criminal justice system did exactly what concerned citizens demand of it; fairness, transparency, and action. The case was investigated by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. No special prosecutor from another jurisdiction was required."
#BREAKING: Former Atlanta police officer Matthew Johns has been indicted — for allegedly using excessive force after he was caught on dashcam video repeatedly kicking and punching a teenage suspect after a police chase. Stay with @wsbtv for the latest. pic.twitter.com/H6cz9TlxVc— Nefertiti Jáquez (@nefertitijaquez) October 11, 2018
The DA also praised the use of dashcam footage in the incident, emphasizing the fact that the clip provided the whole picture and did not just depend on the statement of other officers. "The police officers involved provided [dashcam] video which captured the entirety of the incident," the DA said. "Once the officers viewed the tape, they stated their colleague and [the] fellow officer was wrong and agreed to testify against him. The officer was fired, not placed on administrative leave by his very own police chief, his own peers. Today, he accepted responsibility and entered a guilty plea. Today, the Fulton County Criminal Justice System worked!"