Atlanta Police Officer Who Kicked The Unarmed Black Teen In The Head During Arrest Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison

Atlanta Police Officer Who Kicked The Unarmed Black Teen In The Head During Arrest Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison

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. 



 

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.



 

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."



 

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."



 

 



 

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!"

Recommended for you