Sheriff's deputy in Georgia placed on leave after video shows him 'using physical force on a man'

A sheriff's deputy in Atlanta has been placed on administrative leave after social media video surfaced showing the deputy "using physical force on a man," according to the Clayton County Sheriff's Office.

Posted: Sep 13, 2020 1:00 PM
Updated: Sep 13, 2020 1:00 PM

A sheriff's deputy in the Atlanta area has been placed on administrative leave after social media video surfaced showing the deputy "using physical force on a man," according to the Clayton County Sheriff's Office.

"After being made aware of a video posted on social media involving a Deputy using physical force on a man, Sheriff Victor Hill ordered his entire Internal Affairs Unit to come in and begin an investigation that has been on going since 8 pm (Friday)," according to a statement from the Clayton County Sheriff's Office on Saturday.

"The Sheriff has ordered that the Deputy involved be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation."

Video of the incident appeared on Instagram, showing two deputies holding the man on the ground and striking him in the face. In the video, one deputy can be heard yelling, "he bit my hand!" A separate video taken from another angle shows children in a car nearby crying and one can be heard yelling, "Daddy!"

CNN reached out to the sheriff's office for more details but has not heard back. Clayton County is a suburban county located just south of the city of Atlanta.

The man arrested by deputies was identified by his attorneys as Roderick Walker. Jail records show Walker has been charged with two counts of battery and two counts of obstructing or hindering law enforcement officers. There is no bond listed on the jail records.

Torris Butterfield, an attorney hired to represent Walker, said he met with his client for two hours on Saturday and he is actively trying to get bond set so that Walker can be released. He said he is going to try and bring this case to an amicable resolution on the criminal charges.

Attorney says officers demanded Walker's ID

Speaking at a news conference Saturday night outside the Clayton County jail, attorney Shean Williams said the incident occurred after Walker, his girlfriend and one of his children had returned a rental car.

They approached a rideshare vehicle and negotiated a ride home at an agreed-upon rate with the driver, who was off-duty at the time, Williams told CNN.

The car was then pulled over for what was described as a tail-light violation, according to Williams.

Williams said that deputies demanded that Walker show his ID, but he did not have it with him. The deputies became upset when he asked why they needed the ID, the attorney said. Walker told the deputies he didn't do anything wrong before they told him to exit the car, according to Williams, leading to the officers' use of force.

Some of the social media posts claim the incident involved a passenger in a Lyft vehicle, but the ride-hailing company said that was incorrect.

"We've been made aware of a disturbing incident in Georgia," Lyft said on Twitter. "While we confirmed this did not happen during a Lyft ride, we unequivocally stand against racism and unnecessary use of force."

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation told CNN they have not received a request to investigate the incident. The name of the deputy has not been released.

The Georgia NAACP told CNN in an email that 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."

"It's time for the law to work for brown and Black citizens the way it works for White citizens," said Gerald Griggs, an attorney for the NAACP Georgia, during the news conference.

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