Family wants DeKalb deputies fired for 'overly aggressive' arrest

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —

The DeKalb County family involved in an arrest that some call "overly aggressive" are demanding the deputies involved be fired.

Channel 2's Erica Byfield spoke with DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown, who agrees.

He said the demotion of one employee and the suspension of three others is a proper response to what happened.

Deputy Ray Hunt was suspended for two days. Deputies Charles Dix and Aaron Jackson were both suspended for one day. Sgt. Dan McGhee will be demoted if he doesn't retire as previously planned.

Tuesday marked the first time the sheriff talked about the controversial arrest.

"I would tell you that I was very appalled by what I heard. It is not what I expect from my deputies," said Brown.

Channel 2 Action News first showed video of the arrest last week.

Natania Grffin was wanted for failing to pay a civil fee. Deputies showed up to her house at 1:30 a.m. July 26. Griffin and her sons did not open the door for at least 30 minutes.

When they finally did, the family alleges deputies were abusive physically and verbally.

Griffin and her son prayed with activists outside the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office headquarters Tuesday afternoon.

"We can't entrust the police to police themselves. This is just a slap on the wrist for what needs to be done," said Donovan Hall, Griffin's son.

The sheriff announced Tuesday he agrees with the allegations of verbal abuse, but said he needs to do some more investigating to see if there was physical abuse. He said the video of the arrest sparked an outcry across the US.

Brown also talked about policy changes. He said his deputies will no longer serve civil warrants past 11 p.m. He also wants his deputies to run criminal background checks on those who have a warrant.

But Griffin still doesn't think sheriff Brown is doing enough.

"We are not satisfied as a family. We will not be satisfied until all of the officers involved in this matter are fired and prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Griffin said.