Now that a Georgia sheriff’s deputy has been fired for assaulting a Black man during a car service ride over the weekend, details of the harrowing encounter are starting to come to light. While the name of the deputy has not been released, the district attorney has reportedly started a criminal investigation into the deputy’s use of “excessive force,” which was documented on video and shared through numerous social media channels.
Roderick Walker, his girlfriend, their five month-old-child and his stepson were riding in a local car service in Clayton County, Georgia when the vehicle was stopped by deputies on Friday, September 11 for a busted taillight, according to Walker’s attorney Shean Williams.
Walker was asked for his identification during the stop. Williams told The Guardian that the deputies then asked Walker to get out of the car when Walker questioned why his ID was needed since he wasn’t the one driving the vehicle. What happened next was captured in the now viral video, showing the two deputies on top of Walker punching him in the head and body. His girlfriend's screams can be heard as she pleads with them to stop because Walker, who was in clear distress, said he could not breathe. A small child in the car can also be heard yelling, “Daddy!”
Watch the video below:
Walker, who was arrested on suspicion of obstructing officers and battery, remains in Clayton County Jail. According to the sheriff’s office he is there because of outstanding warrants including a felony probation charge for cruelty to children and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
His attorney says Walker lost consciousness at least at least twice while police pummeled his face, head and body. He is reportedly under physician’s care while in jail.
“My reaction to the video is that it just shows unfortunately another incident where an African American male’s civil rights have been violated by people and officers and law enforcement who have the duty first to protect and serve,” Williams said during a press conference on Saturday, September 12.
The driver, who is also Black, was released without a citation, although, according to Williams, he also did not have proper identification on him at the time of the traffic stop.
Initial reports indicated that the driver worked for Lyft, but the company has confirmed that is not the case and released a statement through thier Twitter account saying, "We’ve been made aware of a disturbing incident in Georgia. While we confirmed this did not happen during a Lyft ride, we unequivocally stand against racism and unnecessary use of force. We are in contact w/@Georgia_NAACP."
While one deputy seen in the viral video has been terminated the second deputy reportedly remains on the job.
“We are here demanding that the Clayton County District Attorney’s office, that Sheriff Victor Hill, that this justice system, supposed to be a justice for all of us, release this young man,” said Williams.
In an email to CNN, the Georgia NAACP said they are "calling for the resignation of Sheriff Victor Hill, the termination of the two officers involved, and all charges to be dropped by the Clayton County District Attorney, Tasha Mosley."
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