Sep 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Georgia officer fired after viral videos show him punching Black man

A sheriff's deputy in Georgia was fired on Sunday for "excessive use of force" after videos surfaced on social media showing him pinning and repeatedly punching Roderick Walker, a Black man, while attempting to detain him this past Friday.

The state of play: The Clayton County sheriff had ordered a bond courtesy for Walker, but it was rejected because he has a felony probation warrant out for "cruelty to children, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and a failure to appear," according to the sheriff's office. Walker received medical treatment and is currently being monitored in jail.

  • The move to fire the officer is an administrative action, and a criminal investigation has been turned over to the Clayton County District Attorney's Office.

What they're saying: Walker's attorney Shean Williams told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Our client was asked for his ID and he responded that he did not have it and didn’t need it since he was not driving. He inquired why he was being asked for his ID. That response obviously did not sit well with the officer.”

  • “Our client ends up being beaten in his face and throughout his body to the point he goes unconscious all because of an alleged traffic violation.”
  • “Representing people of color, I often see where officers are escalating violence with actions disproportionate to the circumstances. There’s no reason that a traffic violation should end up with someone being beaten in the manner that Mr. Walker was beaten."
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