CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — UPDATE: The deputy has been fired -- READ MORE HERE.
Lawyers for a man seen in a viral video being pinned by Clayton County deputies demanded that he be immediately released from jail Saturday night.
Video circulated widely on social media Friday night of several deputies pinning a bleeding man to the concrete as upset family members scream in the background.
Lawyers identified the man Saturday as Roderick Walker and said he’s currently in jail on two counts of battery and two counts of obstruction.
Sheriff Victor Hill said his office became aware of the arrest video and asked Internal Affairs to open an investigation Friday night. At least one of the deputies has since been place on administrative leave.
Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was in Clayton County Saturday night as Walker’s lawyers spoke to the media. They said he is a father of four and was with his girlfriend and one of his children Friday when the incident unfolded.
“How does he end up in jail when he was the one that was attacked?” lawyer Shean Williams asked. “The people that should be in jail are the officers that brutally attacked Mr. Walker.”
Lawyers said Walker and his family had just returned a rental car and had a friend take them back home. A unmarked Clayton County patrol car pulled over the driver for a broken tail light.
A cousin of Walker’s shared the video of what unfolded next on her Facebook page Friday afternoon.
Williams said deputies asked to see Walker’s license, even though he was the ride-share passenger and not the driver. Walker why he should have to show his ID when he wasn’t driving and wasn’t doing anything wrong.
“They became upset when he asked, ‘Why are you asking for my ID? I’m not driving and I haven’t done anything wrong,’" Williams said.
The confrontation wasn’t caught on camera, but video shot moments later shows a bloodied Walker being pinned by the neck to the ground as deputies lie on top of him.
A woman in the background screams, “he’s bleeding” as she records what is happening. One deputy yells out “he’s biting my hand" as the two deputies continue to hold Walker on the ground. Video shows one deputy punch Walker several times.
The woman repeatedly yells “Get off of him. He says he can’t breathe, officer," and a child can be heard screaming “daddy” in the background.
Photos of Walker released by the family Saturday show him with a black eye in a jail jumpsuit. Lawyers said he passed out twice during the attack and he should have been given medical treatment.
“They continued to beat this man in his face instead of protecting and serving, which they are required to do,” Williams said.
The sheriff’s office issued a statement Saturday, reading:
“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 since 8 p.m. The Sheriff has ordered that the Deputy involved be placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.”
For Walker’s lawyers, that’s not enough. They want Walker’s bond to be set immediately so he can be released.
Community members plan to rally at the jail Sunday afternoon.
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