Georgia’s deputy sheriff was fired on Sunday after videos posted on social media showed him repeatedly hitting a black man who was nailed to the ground.
The Clayton County Sheriff said the deputy, who is white, was fired for excessive use of force during a meeting with Roderick Walker, 26. A criminal investigation has been handed over to the Clayton County District Attorney, the sheriff’s office said. declaration.
Walker’s lawyer, Sheen Williams, said on Saturday that Walker was a passenger in a car that was stopped because of a broken taillight. When a deputy asked for his identification, he refused ̵
“Why do you want my ID?” Williams quotes Walker. “I don’t drive and I haven’t done anything wrong.”
After authorities told Walker to get out of the car, Williams said lawmakers “attacked” him.
At least two videos show the confrontation from different angles. In one, an officer is heard saying that Walker is biting his arm.
In the same video, lawmakers fix Walker and appear to be holding him by the neck. Walker can be heard saying “I can’t breathe” as he appears to gasp for air. A woman is heard shouting, “No! Don’t kill him! He said he can’t breathe!”
Deputies are still on top of the man a few seconds after the woman’s request. When the deputies came down from him, he was bleeding from his nose and seemed to have lost consciousness. Williams said Walker had fainted twice.
At least one child can hear screams in the background.
Deputies were then seen rolling Walker on his stomach and handcuffing him. The video ends with a third deputy asking the woman to get in a car.
Another video, shot from a distance, shows a boy in a car parked next to the scene, shouting, “Daddy! Daddy!” The same video shows a deputy hitting the man while he was pressed.
There does not appear to be a video showing what led to the incident, and it is not clear how the interaction became violent. Authorities did not say why the car was stopped.
A statement from Clayton County Sheriff’s Office said Walker had received medical attention, including X-rays, and that no fractures had been found. A photo posted by his lawyers showed him with a swollen eye.
Prison records show that Walker was arrested on suspicion of obstructing or obstructing an officer and a battery, which Williams said should be denied. The sheriff’s office said Sunday that Walker would have been released at his discretion, but that he had been detained on an unpaid probation warrant for child cruelty and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, as well as another non-appearance warrant.
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Williams, the sheriff’s office and the Southern Police Police Benevolent Association did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.
The arrest comes after months of protests over the police murder of Breona Taylor, the death of George Floyd in police custody and the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Citing those cases, Gerald Griggs of the NAACP in Atlanta said Saturday that he and others were demanding that Walker be released, but they could mourn his life.
“We’ve seen this happen too many times and we’re just fed up,” he said.