FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Days after a video went viral of a Clayton County deputy pinning down a man and punching him repeatedly, Channel 2 Action News has new insight into the controversial arrest.
Channel 2′s Mark Winne spoke to Roderick Walker, who was beaten by deputies after the car he was a passenger in was pulled over last week. The deputy who pinned Walker has since been fired.
Walker is in jail in Fulton County after being transferred from Clayton County.
Walker was reading a Bible study when Winne walked in to his Fulton County Jail cell. Walker is being held in the medical unit.
“I’m scared,” Walker said as a tears slipped down his face. “I don’t know what to say.”
Walker said he didn’t want to say anything about his encounter with the Clayton County deputies because he didn’t want anything to be misconstrued.
Fulton County Sheriff’s Lt Derrick Paige said records show Walker was on probation for possession of a firearm by a convicted felony, another gun charge and cruelty to children.
Paige said Walker is in the medical unit for injuries that he sustained prior to his arrival at the jail.
Shean Williams, Walker’s civil attorney, said officials have not provided him with any documents on the case, but based on what Walker and his girlfriend have said, Walker was a passenger in a vehicle stopped for a tail light violation.
A Clayton County deputy asked for Walker’s I.D., but he didn’t have it. walker asked why he was asked for his identification when he wasn’t driving, and was pulled for the car. That led up to the altercation that was caught on cellphone video and quickly spread on social media.
“Everything points to the fact that this was a traffic stop that ultimately led to my client being arrested being assaulted and his constitutional rights being violated,” Williams said.
Former federal prosecutor Bret Williams said Georgia law and a 2015 supreme court ruling require a passenger in a traffic stop to provide I.D. to an officer if demanded. But a more recent federal appeals court ruling conflicts with that.
“The opinion last year by the Ninth Circuit indicates it’s a violation of your Fourth Amendment right for a police officer to demand your identification if it in no way relates to the reason for the traffic stop,” Bret Williams said.
Shean Williams said Walker’s problems finding a place to stay and employment during the COVID crisis contributed to his alleged probation violations.
The deputy who has been fired has not been identified.
Walker has asked that charges be filed against him.
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