After videos posted to social media on Saturday showed two officers from the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia pinning a Black man to the street, punching him, and seemingly attempting to suffocate him, one of the cops in question has been fired.
Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill announced the firing on Sunday, but did not disclose the name of the deputy in question.
According to Atlanta’s WSB-TV 2, Roderick Walker was traveling as a passenger in a ride-share with his children on Friday when the car was stopped by Clayton County deputies, due to a broken tail light, and they asked Walker to show them his license.
Family members who first posted videos of the incident on social media say Walker questioned why he was being asked for his ID, given he was not the driver of the vehicle, and that this is what ultimately resulted in him being pinned to the ground by the two officers and beaten.
A graphic video of the event shows Walker being bodily restrained by the cops until his legs appear to start spasming, and a child screaming in the background as one of the officers punch him repeatedly.
A woman filming the incident can also be heard telling the cops that Walker can’t breathe and begging them to get off of him, to which one of the officers says that Walker bit him:
Shean Williams, a lawyer for Walker’s family, told WSB-TV 2 that his client passed out twice while the officers were holding him down and beating him, yet was jailed after the incident on charges of battery and obstruction.
After videos of the incident began racking up hundreds and thousands of views on social media, Sheriff Victor Hill announced on Saturday that his office had opened up an internal affairs investigation into the actions of the deputy shown punching Walker. That investigation led to the deputy’s firing on Sunday for excessive use of force.
Hill added that he ordered a bond for Walker as a courtesy, which was denied by the court due to him having outstanding felony warrants.
A criminal investigation of the police altercation has been turned over to the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office, Hill said.