A Georgia sheriff’s deputy was fired after he was filmed repeatedly punching a Black man during a traffic stop, authorities say

  • The Clayton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia has fired a sheriff's deputy after videos circulated on social media showing the deputy punching a Black man during an arrest. 
  • The Black man, identified as Roderick Walker, was asked to step out of the vehicle during a traffic stop, and video of what happened next shows deputies pinning him to the ground and repeatedly hitting him. 
  • The sheriff's office said it has launched an investigation into the incident. 
  • Walker is still behind bars after being arrested on suspicion of battery and obstructing officers.
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A sheriff's office in Georgia fired a deputy over the weekend after video footage showed him violently punching a Black man during a traffic stop.

The Clayton County Sheriff's Office has not publicly named the officer involved in the incident, but said a criminal investigation is underway and will be turned over to the Clayton County District Attorney'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)," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

The Black man seen in videos of the incident has been identified by the sheriff's office as 26-year-old Roderick Walker.

The incident between Walker and sheriff's deputies started as a traffic stop, Walker's lawyer, Shean Williams, told the Washington Post.

Williams said during a press conference broadcast on CBS46-TV outside Clayton County Jail that Walker, his girlfriend, their 5-month-old child, and his stepson had paid a driver for a ride after dropping off a rental car. Police pulled the driver over, and asked the driver and Walker for identification, Williams said.

This Saturday, September 12, 2020 photo provided by The Cochran Firm shows Roderick Walker at the Clayton County Jail in Jonesboro, Georgia.
The Cochran Firm via AP

Williams said Walker didn't have his ID on him, and the deputies ask him to step out the the car.

Videos of the incident show Walker being pinned to the ground by two deputies. One of the deputies can be seen striking Walker in the face. Williams said Walker lost consciousness twice during the incident.

Walker's girlfriend can be heard in one video screaming for deputies to stop, while a child can be heard saying "Daddy."

"How does a taillight being broke end up with a man being beaten, in the way he was beaten, in a chokehold, almost dying?" Williams asked in the press conference.

Walker was also arrested on suspicion of battery and obstructing officers.

He remains in custody. The sheriff's office said he cannot be released on bond because he "has a felony probation warrant out of Fulton County for Cruelty to Children, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and a Failure to Appear warrant out of Hapeville."

The sheriff's office said Walker received x-rays which showed he had no fractured bones following the incident. He's being monitored at the jail's hospital.

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