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Sheriff Fires Deputy in Beating of Man Seen on Footage (VIDEO)

Warning: Video is disturbing.

The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia announced on Sunday that the deputy seen on video punching Roderick Walker has been fired.

“This is the administrative action,” they said in a statement posted online. “The criminal investigation of this matter will be turned over to the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office.”

Footage of the incident sparked outrage. Two deputies were seen piling on Walker, who was down on the street. A woman off-screen pleads with them to get off. Walker said that he was going to die.

“I can’t breathe,” he said.

One of the deputies punched him in the left forehead several times. One of the law enforcement officers said he had a trouble getting the handcuffs on. They and a third official got the cuffs on a hand. The deputy who punched the man laid a forearm across his neck. Authorities get off of Walker, who seems possibly unresponsive, and his face bloodied.

Before the firing, the sheriff’s office announced that the deputy who used “physical force” was placed on administrative leave without pay, pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.

Walked was sent to jail on two counts of battery, and two counts of obstruction, according to WSB-TV.

“How does he end up in jail when he was the one that was attacked?” attorney Shean Williams said. “The people that should be in jail are the officers that brutally attacked Mr. Walker.”

According to the defense account, Walker and his family had returned a rental car. Their friend was driving them back home, when an unmarked patrol vehicle pulled over the vehicle for a broken tail light. Deputies asked Walker–who was not the driver–for his license, lawyers said.

“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 incident happened when Walker was with his girlfriend, and one of his four children, attorneys said. The lawyers wanted him out of jail, but Clayton County officials said he must stay locked up on a warrant out of Fulton County.

“The Sheriff ordered a signature bond courtesy for Mr. Walker 48 hours ago,” the sheriff’s office said Sunday. “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.  Mr. Walker’s legal counsel will have to resolve these issues to secure his release.”

[Screengrab via Ben Crump]

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