The Clayton County Sheriff deputy who brutalized a Black ride-share passenger unconscious has been fired officials announced on Sunday (Sept. 13).
The man, who has now been identified as 26-year-old Roderick Walker, was arrested following the beating and was taken into custody at Clayton County Jail for two counts of battery and two counts of obstructing officers.
Following his family’s demands for his immediate release from jail, Clayton County confirmed that “the Deputy who repeatedly struck Roderick Walker is being terminated from the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office by order of Sheriff Victor Hill for excessive use of force.”
Additionally, the case will be turned over to the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office for investigation who will then decide whether to pursue charges.
A photo of Walker’s injuries was shared on social media by ABC affiliate station WSB-TV in Atlanta and among them include a blackened left eye. An x-ray was performed as part of his medical treatment and no fractures were detected, according to the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office. He remains in the jail hospital where staff will continue to monitor him.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Walker has a felony probation warrant out of Fulton County for Cruelty to Children, 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,” the statement reads. “Mr. Walker’s legal counsel will have to resolve these issues to secure his release.”
Walker’s lawyer, Shean Williams, is calling the charges against Walker “frivolous.”
“Roderick Walker is in jail solely because he was illegally arrested after being assaulted by Clayton County Sheriff deputies, not because of anything he did during that incident or in the past,” Williams said in a statement. “Mr. Walker would not be in jail if it were not for this unlawful arrest that violated his legal and constitutional rights.”
Walker, his girlfriend and 5-year-old son were in a ride-share on Friday (Sept. 11) when cops pulled over the driver for a broken taillight. The driver didn’t have his license so the police began to ask Walker and his girlfriend for their IDs. When Walker questioned why, a video captured by a witness shows the deputy took to kneeling on Walker and punching him repeatedly as blood leaked from his face and he went in and out of consciousness.
At one point, Walker can be heard yelling “I can’t breath.”
The driver was not charged or arrested in the incident.
Williams is requesting that the Clayton County District Attorney’s office pursue criminal charges against the two involved deputies. He is also asking that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation launch an independent investigation into what happened.