Police Brutality against Black People Continues – Georgia Deputy Fired for Friday Attack

By Ayanna Gandhi

GEORGIA – The Black Lives Matter movement continues to take shape across the country, but that does not mean that police brutality against Black people doesn’t continue, as evidenced by an incident Friday.

But the movement may be influencing society, at least a little.

After a Black man was yanked out of a car and beaten by sheriff’s deputies unlawfully in Clayton County, Georgia, on Friday, the sheriff there announced Sunday that the deputy’s employment had been terminated for “excessive use of force”—videos showed the deputy repeatedly punching Walker in the face as his girlfriend and children watch.

It all began when a driver in Clayton County, Georgia, was pulled over for a broken taillight with a Black passenger in his car. The passenger, Roderick Walker, was asked for his identification by police. However, he asked them the reason for their request because he wasn’t the one police pulled over.

Newsweek magazine reports, “While he wasn’t in the driver’s seat, the cops asked him to get out of the vehicle and attempted to arrest him because they didn’t like that he spoke back.”

Once Walker was out of the car, the police response was extremely violent—there are multiple videos floating around social media that depict that violence.

Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney, tweeted one video which was taken of officers beating Walker. Along with the video, Crump writes that the officers “pressed his face on the PAVEMENT & punched him repeatedly because he didn’t have his ID.”

Crump also charged that Roderick Walker is yet “ANOTHER Black man saying, “I can’t breathe” while being ASPHYXIATED by police!!”

Ana Duvernay, a film director, retweeted Crump’s tweet, saying, “Call 678-479-5300 to demand that these animals be named, fired and prosecuted.” See their tweets here:

Newsweek also is in possession of a different video where “police asked for Walker’s driver’s license. He said he did not have it on his person and questioned the officer about why he needed to produce it. The officer then asked him to step out of the vehicle. The video later shows police forcing him to the ground.”

In the video Newsweek reported on, “A woman, who appears to be the person filming the video, can be heard begging cops to get off the man. “Get the f**k off of him,” she screams. “Don’t kill him. He said he can’t breathe.” After the cop punches the man’s face, another officer handcuffs him. When police back off the man, the video shows his face covered in blood.”

Newsweek tells readers, “In another video taken of the incident, a child in the back of the car yells ‘daddy’ as cops tackle the man. The cop who punched him can be heard saying, ‘He bit my hand.'”

Walker was arrested on two counts of battery and two counts of obstruction on Friday. He has still not been released from jail as of Saturday night. The sheriff said Sunday that Walker is being held on multiple felony warrants from another county.

Walker’s lawyers are demanding he be released immediately. They have also since told Newsweek that Walker was with his girlfriend Janita Davis, her five-year-old child and their five-month-old baby during the incident. [His lawyer] alleges that the police tased his client.

The attorneys have also released a statement stating, “We are demanding, in light of what occurred and can be seen in the video, that he be released immediately…it is our position that Mr. Walker did nothing wrong. We have requested he’s not only released from jail but the officers involved be investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, to have an independent investigation of their actions. We want those officers charged for the aggravated assault and battery of Mr. Walker.”

“How does he end up in jail when he was the one that was attacked?” asked attorney Shean Williams, adding, “The people who should be in jail are the deputies who beat him and caused him severe injuries and harm.”

Williams also alleged that “authorities have not given Walker appropriate medical treatment.”

Lyft sent a response clarifying that they confirmed this did not happen during a Lyft ride: “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.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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14 Comments

  1. Alan Miller

    By Ayanna Gandhi

    Who?

    Ana Duvernay, a film director, retweeted Crump’s [a civil rights attorney] tweet,

    A film director?!?!!!!

    [TRIGGER WARNING]

    [TRIGGER WARNING WARNING]

    Yes it looks bad, but I just don’t know the context, and again with the point of view from an attorney and a [gasp!] film director.  I’m not downplaying police violence, I’m questioning that any video, re-tweeted by a film director, for a particular incident, can possibly contextualize the full incident.

    I’m reminded of an incident I saw in Davis last week, where police confronted a clearly mentally-ill man and took him into custody.  There were a half-dozen vehicles and twice that many personnel – and it seemed a textbook case of excessive force.  We later found out from police this was the third time today the person had been reported and that they had responded, previously for breaking windows.  Context.

    Halfway through, after the acting-out behavior, and when the person was being restrained, an 0verly-excited video-warrior came upon the scene, clearly thrilled that he’d be posting this later on YouTube.  Yet the entire lead-up and behavior of the person was missing from the video, which would have only showed several police restraining the person.  Context.

    And anyway, what the F putting mentally-ill behavior on the internet in perpetuity?  What if the person gets better, and has that on the internet, and his potential future employers have facial-recognition software (a world we are not that far from living in now, people).  Isn’t that a similar but worse concern than the mugshots from the other article?  But instead of the system doing it, it’s a bunch of rando video-justice warriors seeking their 57 seconds of fame on YouTube or Instagram, while potentially ruining someone’s life.  You aren’t just filming potential police abuse people, you’re also putting the [victim or perp — we don’t know yet] face into the ether.

    1. David Greenwald

      Ayanna is one of our interns (as the article clearly marked at the top and bottom).

      You don’t know who Ana Duvernay is?  Regardless she’s the one who retweeted Crump’s tweet.

        1. Alan Miller

          The former is relevant to this article.

          I hate to have to spell out my point . . . why does the title rock guitarist, or film producer, give anyone relevance on an issue such as this?

          . . . and I’m impressed that you know who Uli Jon Roth is!  (unless you googled him for the first time today . . . that’s cheating 😉 )

      1. Alan Miller

        Ayanna is one of our interns (as the article clearly marked at the top and bottom).

        OK, I thought it was a case of not posting a bio to have context for the article slant, such as if written by an ACLU lawyer.  I see the “Posted by” at the top now.

        Withdrawn.

  2. Tia Will

    Alan

    I don’t know what more you would want for context. If it is true that a passenger in a commercial vehicle was asked to produce an ID, the only “context” needed is whether or not the location has “stop and identify” laws, or whether as in much of California, this is not legal. This is what the detainee was presumably questioning. Such questioning does not appear to me to be a cause for punching and pressure restraint on the part of the police. What other “context” would you want?

    1. Alan Miller

      That’s what the article implies, and if all true, fine.  My points were about article slant and video leaving out what proceeded the tape rolling — in any individual case.

  3. Bill Marshall

     an overly-excited video-warrior came upon the scene, clearly thrilled that he’d be posting this later on YouTube.

    I’d add those who would have cop-cam footage released, ASAP, unredacted, so they could post it.

    An old phrase from the aftermath of the 1906 SF earthquake and fire… headlines in the newspapers… ‘ghouls and looters’… note the combination… @ the time SF was maybe 1% Black, 2% Latinx… so likelihood was 97% the ghouls and looters were white… but, ‘looter’ is “racially charged”?  The looters are the opportunists who sought to gain possessions/wealth… the ghouls did that from the dead and dying…

    The orders law enforcement had, during that, was ‘shoot to kill’ looters… not arrest, not detain, not use de-escalation.  114 years ago. SF, CA…

     

  4. David Greenwald

    I don’t know if he’s a probationary officer, but I do know in general it is really difficult to fire officers, they are entitled to hearings and all sorts of other protections.

  5. David Greenwald

    Lyft sent us the following: “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.”

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