ATLANTA — In a press conference Friday morning, an attorney for Roderick Walker called for the firing of additional Clayton County Sheriff’s Office deputies and an internal investigation of the CCSO by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Walker was arrested on Sept. 11 by deputies Brandon Myers and D. Riddick. During the arrest, they were filmed punching Walker in his face and upper body while laying on top of him. The film later went viral after it was uploaded to social media.
Walker was booked into the Clayton County jail on charges of obstructing officers and battery.
Myers was fired on Sept. 13 for excessive use of force. Attorney Shean Williams said he wants to see Myers’ partner, Riddick, fired, as well as Deputy Valentine who reportedly arrived on scene as back up. Williams compared the incident to the arrest and death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minnesota.
Williams said all officers who witnessed the incident took an oath to serve and protect, claiming they they didn’t do that while Walker was being arrested. He said he’s also requesting that Clayton County District Attorney Tasha Mosley look into bringing criminal charges against the deputies and asking the Georgia Bureau of Investigation conduct its own internal investigation of the Sheriff’s Office.
According to Williams, Myers should have been fired before the incident with Walker, stating that Myers, who was hired in November 2019, had five other incidents for use of force. He said it shows the “systemic pattern and practice encouraged by the Clayton County Sheriff’s office to violate civil and constitutional rights.”
Walker, who spoke very briefly at the press conference, said he was scared and feared for his life.
“I just pray and hope that it doesn’t happen to nobody else,” he said.
Jane Lamberti, attorney and partner with the Cochran Firm Atlanta, detailed Walker’s injuries as a result of the arrest. She said he lost consciousness three times, twice while on the ground and once in the back of the patrol car. Lamberti said Walker has been left with a mild traumatic brain injury, cognitive issues, headaches, dizziness, double vision and blurriness of the left eye. He also sustained a TMJ, back and knee injuries and a neurological injury to his arm. He’s currently under the care of a neurologist, orthopedic surgeon and ophthalmologist “all over a traffic stop that should never have happened,” she said.
On Tuesday, Walker was released from the Clayton County jail and transferred to Fulton County where he was wanted on a felony probation warrant for cruelty to children and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and a failure to appear warrant out of Hapeville.
Walker’s attorneys were able to secure his release on bond from Fulton County on Thursday night.
Attorney Torris Butterfield is representing Walker on the charges in Clayton County. He said it’s his “hope, opinion and expectation” that Mosley will decline to prosecute the case and charges will be dismissed.
The case was turned over to the District Attorney’s Office by Sheriff Victor Hill on Monday.
In a short press conference Tuesday, Mosley said her office is collecting information and encouraged any and all witnesses to call her office.
“We will not rush to judgment and will be fair and thorough. That is what I have been entrusted to do for the citizens of Clayton County,” Mosley said.
Meanwhile, Butterfield called on Clayton County officials and the Board of Commissioners to demand transparency in the case.
Williams said he believes, based on evidence he’s collected and from more coming in, that a lawsuit will be filed against Sheriff Victor Hill, the CCSO, other deputies and Clayton County.
“We will probably be in court,” he said. “We know what happened to Roderick has happened to others (in Clayton County). Our goal is to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”