JONESBORO — A Clayton County sheriff’s deputy has been fired for excessive use of force after he was filmed repeatedly hitting a man while attempting to arrest him. The video was shared on social media. The deputy has not been identified by the Sheriff’s Office.
Roderick Walker, 26, who is Black, was reportedly a passenger in a vehicle pulled over for a broken tail light on Friday. Though not the driver, sheriff’s deputies asked Walker for his identification. When he said he didn’t have it and questioned deputies for the need since he wasn’t the driver, Walker was pulled from the vehicle by deputies. He was pinned to the ground and, during a struggle, repeatedly punched by the deputy.
Walker was arrested and booked into the Clayton County jail on two counts of obstructing officers and two counts of battery.
Meanwhile, a video of the incident was posted to social media and went viral. Sheriff Victor Hill called in his entire Internal Investigation Unit on Saturday to conduct an internal investigation. At that point, the deputy was placed on administrative leave without pay.
Sheriff Hill said on Sunday that he ordered a signature bond for Walker, but that he remains in jail due to other pending charges. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Walker has a felony probation warrant out of Fulton County for cruelty to children and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and a failure to appear warrant out of Hapeville, which resulted in Magistrate Court denying him a bond.
“Mr. Walker’s legal counsel will have to resolve these issues to secure his release,” Hill said in a statement.
Walker, according to Hill, has received medical treatment while in jail, including X-rays, and is being monitored in the jail hospital by a doctor.
Walker’s attorney, Shean Williams, is demanding both Walker’s release and that the charges against him be dropped. During a protest at the jail on Sunday, Williams said the case “should be dismissed immediately.”
As for the unnamed deputy, Hill said his termination is an administrative action and that the criminal investigation has been turned over to the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office.