ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- An ex-Atlanta Police Officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to assaulting an unarmed teen during a traffic stop.
Matthew Johns had been with the Atlanta Police Department for nine years when he was seen on dash camera and body camera video kicking then 15-year-old Antraveious Payne.
Prosecutors with the Fulton District Attorney’s Office say that Payne was riding in a stolen car when several officers pulled the driver over on September 16, 2016. Prosecutors say that Payne surrendered to authorities by lying on his stomach on the pavement with his arms outstretched, showing he did not have a weapon.
“For no reason, this officer got out of his car and as you can see with no hesitation, he immediately kicked him in the head,” said Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, Jr. “He kicked him in the head on three separate occasions and then the officer got down on his knees and he pressed his knee into the neck of this 15-year-old as he got down on the ground,” Howard continued.
The teen was hospitalized with bleeding in his mouth, cuts, a neck strain and a concussion.
Johns was fired by then Atlanta Police Chief George Turner in 2016.
On Wednesday, Payne took the stand to give a victim impact statement saying to the courts, “I do forgive him for what he did, but I feel like he needs to be punished for what he did.”
Johns pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault, aggravated assault strangulation, two counts false statements, two counts of violation of oath by public officer.
The sentences can carry up to 40 years behind bars, but Howard says he will be recommending five years with two to serve.
Johns’ attorney asked for a delay in sentencing to evaluate him for PTSD. The judge denied the request and said he will be sentenced on July 29th. Any possible evidence of PTSD will be introduced then.
Howard says he does not foresee possible PTSD impacting the sentencing.