A sheriff deputy in Georgia was fired on Sunday after a video posted on social media showed him repeatedly hitting a black man who was pinned to the ground.
The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy, who is white, was fired for excessive use of force in a Friday encounter with Roderick Walker. 26. A criminal investigation was commissioned at the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office, a statement the Sheriff Office said.
Shawn Williams, a lawyer for Walker, said on Saturday that Walker was a passenger in a car pulled to a broken taillight. When a deputy asked for her identity, she refused – “as every American citizen has the right to do,” Williams said.
“Why are you asking for my ID?” Williams quoted Walker as saying. “I’m not driving, and I haven’t done anything wrong.”
Officers told Walker after getting out of the car, Williams said, that deputies “attacked” him.
At least two videos depict collisions from different angles. In one, an officer is heard saying that Walker is biting his hand.
In the same video, deputators pinned Walker and appeared to be holding him around his neck. Walker can be heard saying “I can’t breathe” appears gasping for air. A woman can be heard shouting: “No! Don’t kill him! He said he can’t breathe!”
Deputations continue over the male for several seconds after the woman’s plea. When the deputies turn away from him, his nose is bleeding and he is conscious. Williams said Walker fainted twice.
He can hear at least one child screaming in the background.
Deputies were then seen moving the walker on his stomach and handcuffing him. The video ends with a third deputy asking the woman to get in the car.
Another video, shot from afar, shows a boy inside the car parked next to the scene shouting, “Daddy! Daddy!” The same video shows a man punching a deputy while he is pinned down.
There is no video that shows what led to the incident, and it was unclear how the conversation turned violent. Authorities have not revealed why the car was towed.
The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office said in the statement that Walker received medical treatment, including an X-ray, and no fractures were found. A photo released by his lawyers showed him with a swollen eye.
Jail records show Walker was arrested on suspicion of obstructing or obstructing an officer, who Williams said should be released. The Sheriff’s Office said Sunday that Walker would have been released on his own identity card, but that he was being held on an outstanding felony investigation warrant for cruelty to children and possession of a firearm by a convicted criminal Along with this, another warrant was issued for failure to appear. .
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Williams, the Sheriff’s Office and the Southern Philanthropic Association of States did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.
The arrest comes after several months of protests over the police murder of Bryo Taylor, the death of George Floyd in police custody and the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Referring to those cases, Gerald Griggs of the NAACP in Atlanta said Saturday that he and others are demanding that Walker be released, but they can mourn his life.
“We have seen this happen on many occasions, and we are tired of it,” he said.