Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Richmond Sheriff's Office investigates brutality complaint by teen's mom

Thursday, Aug 8, 2013 9:33 PM
Last updated Monday, Aug 12, 2013 7:50 AM
  • Follow Crime & courts

Kyvan James said one thought went through his head as he lay on the ground after being detained by Richmond County sheriff’s deputies.

Kyvan James, 15, has a black eye that he claims is the result of a run-in with Richmond County sheriff's deputies Saturday night. The Sheriff's Office is investigating a complaint of brutality.   TODD BENNETT/STAFF
TODD BENNETT/STAFF
Kyvan James, 15, has a black eye that he claims is the result of a run-in with Richmond County sheriff's deputies Saturday night. The Sheriff's Office is investigating a complaint of brutality.

He didn’t want to be another Trayvon Martin.

The sheriff’s office is investigating the Saturday night incident after the 15-year-old’s mother, Kenya James, filed a formal complaint alleging her son was assaulted by officers who wrongly suspected he was involved in a possible burglary.

Because the complaint is an ongoing investigation, the sheriff’s office did not provide any details about the case. A juvenile incident report by the Sheriff’s Office listed three officers involved.

Sgt. Shane McDaniel said the internal affairs department continues to take statements from officers, the James family and witnesses. A decision is expected to be made early next week.

According to Kenya James and her son, the teen was walking to his Gebhardt Court home with another 15-year-old about 11 p.m just as deputies responded to a possible burglary at a nearby residence on Leawood Court.

After seeing the two teens on a path from Leawood to Gebhardt Court, officers started chasing them, according to Kenya James. Both boys ran toward James’ home, and and Kyvan was caught by the deputies.

Kenya James said a neighbor called her after seeing Kyvan surrounded by deputies and screaming for his mother.

“When I pulled up at the corner there were like seven cars,” she said. “I was trying to wrap my head around what could have happened.”

She said she told the officers her son suffered from epilepsy and asthma. One of the deputies told her to “shut up.”

Her concerns grew when she finally got a look at Kyvan. Both sides of his head had bruises and swelling, and she said one deputy admitted to hitting him with a flashlight. Kyvan James said that while he was on the ground one officer said he should have shot him.

Kyvan James was taken by ambulance to Georgia Regents Medical Center after his mother insisted he needed medical treatment.

Kenya James said Kyvan, who weighs less than 100 pounds, has been charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer, a misdemeanor. The sheriff’s office wouldn’t comment about any charges .

On Thursday, Kyvan James said he was experiencing double vision and swelling around one eye. Cuts and scrapes were visible on other areas of his face.

Kenya James said the two boys shouldn’t have run from authorities but did so “out of fear. They panicked.”

After officers determined Kyvan James was not a suspect in the burglary, Kenya James said, they never apologized.

“I understand what they have to go through every day dealing with criminals,” she said. “But they should be able to tell he was a minor.”

She said she wants the officer who struck her son to be fired and hopes the incident will result in more sensitivity training by the department.

Comments (85) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Little Lamb
46405
Points
Little Lamb 08/08/13 - 09:43 pm
10
8
Publicity

With all this publicity, this guy is a shoe-in to become a Hollywood actor when he hits 18.

Willie Loman
267
Points
Willie Loman 08/08/13 - 11:16 pm
22
8
The lesson here...

... is don't run from the police. And don't resist when apprehended. Why was this precious child out and about at 11:00pm. Mom, where was he in the hours leading up to this incident? What was he doing? Had he checked in with you prior to walking home with his friend? Did these two upstanding young men observe anything suspicious in the area while walking home? Did they share information about what they might have seen with the police? I'm sure Sheriff Roundtree will handle the actions of his deputies in the appropriate manner. Fire those involved in the incident?!?! I hope not.

GiantsAllDay
9695
Points
GiantsAllDay 08/09/13 - 01:14 am
17
1
I'm certain more information

I'm certain more information will follow. I don't know enough to form any opinions. This could go one of several different ways. I do believe however, that one should NEVER run from the cops, even if you are the most innocent person in the world. That being said, I am a lot older than 15, however.

corgimom
33163
Points
corgimom 08/09/13 - 04:33 am
15
5
Now he can get the idea that

Now he can get the idea that when the police say, "Stop! Police!" they mean it.

scoobynews
3855
Points
scoobynews 08/09/13 - 05:08 am
15
5
I can't believe this even got

I can't believe this even got news coverage. Another Trayvon!? Really?? If you run from the police then you give them the impression you are guilty. You get chased and took down. You get tackled it is very likely you are going to get bruises.

Riverman1
84926
Points
Riverman1 08/09/13 - 05:10 am
20
5
Al Sharpton will straighten

Al Sharpton will straighten all this out.

ColCo
803
Points
ColCo 08/09/13 - 05:55 am
16
3
Police Math

Suspect of Any Race + Run = Guilt

Now commit this to memory.

Brad Owens
4583
Points
Brad Owens 08/09/13 - 02:23 pm
9
12
Here is a link to a picture on his facebook page..

He was 14 in this picture... I wonder why the AC didn't use this in the article?

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=424155870968947&set=t.1000012361...

P.S. I know he is probably just cutting up, but I would ask you all this; would you allow you 14 year old to post a public picture like that?

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 08/09/13 - 06:43 am
8
21
He's a child and sometimes

He's a child and sometimes they don't always make the best choices. Unfortunately with cases like Trayvon Martin in the news African American boys are far more fearful because of the media attention they are giving the case. And they should be, especially in the south. If these comments that some of you post are any indication of the state of race relations then he should be afraid. He was clearly thinking if he got home to his mom she could fix this. He didn't know why he was being stopped and the first thought was probably to get home. And 11:00 in a neighborhood where his parents know their neighbors is not an outrageous time to be walking home. I have never been arrested nor have I ever been in trouble in school when I was younger and I walked home in my neighborhood later than 11 on a non-school night. But i'm sure all of you upstanding citizens and your children have never walked home after 11 in your perfect crime free neighborhoods.

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 08/09/13 - 06:40 am
9
18
Brad Owens it's none of your

Brad Owens it's none of your business where his father is. That has absolutely nothing to do with the article or the situation. Where's your father? And I guess Roundtree can't stop parents from filing a complaint and the chronicle from posting news like Strength. And he shouldn't try..

itsanotherday1
43786
Points
itsanotherday1 08/09/13 - 07:06 am
22
5
What do they expect the cops

What do they expect the cops to do? Let's see.... Call for burglary. Two teenage boys walking (trespassing?) behind the house. Ask boys to stop. They run. There isn't a LEO in the world who would not have been suspicious and taken chase. And is always the case, they use quick and harsh force to gain quick compliance to avoid injury to themselves.

End of story. Unfortunate circumstances for the kids.

seenitB4
88176
Points
seenitB4 08/09/13 - 07:18 am
10
6
Oh Brother

The police can't get a break...hell if you do & hell if you don't..& some wonder why they have soooo much crime in THEIR area. READ THIS!

corgimom
33163
Points
corgimom 08/09/13 - 07:51 am
14
5
I'm a dumpy, frumpy 55 year

I'm a dumpy, frumpy 55 year old white woman. If the police come to investigate a crime, and I run, the police will chase me. If they tell me to stop, and I don't, I am breaking the law. If I am stopped and resist them, they will use physical force on me, including smacking me with a flashlight.

It's called REAL LIFE.

Black, white, green, or purple, yes, that's exactly the way it is.

This is why it's a very bad idea for a parent to let their 15 year old child walk around unsupervised at 11 pm at night on a school night. I raised a son, I told him straight out that if he roamed at night, he WOULD get stopped by the police and could easily be blamed for something that he didn't do. The police know, just like I know, that most crimes are committed by teenage boys, and it doesn't matter what color they are.

I grew up in a very safe small town, and NO, I was not allowed to roam at 11 pm at night as a teenager.

fatboyhog
1987
Points
fatboyhog 08/09/13 - 08:06 am
14
7
Sensitivity training?

Really? The mother thinks officers need sensitivity training? In situations such as this, sensitivity is out the window. You run, you resist, there's no time to be sensitive. I saw on the news where the mother claims he was hit with a flashlight. Thinking logically here (I know that's a foreign concept for some), had he been beaten with a flashlight, he would have more serious injuries. Mama is upset that the officers were rude; what was HER demeanor? I'm sure she was just as calm and polite as she could be. Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, right? I mean, she just got a call from neighbors that her little boy was brutally beaten by the big bad police. I'm sure she was cool, calm, and collected.

Maybe mommy should consider riding with a deputy for a few weekends so that she can see what really goes on. Yeah, the police can have sensitivity training, and mommy can have reality training.

corgimom
33163
Points
corgimom 08/09/13 - 07:55 am
11
6
And this is why responsible

And this is why responsible parents have curfews for their children and enforce them, they care about their children and don't want anything bad to happen to them.

Responsible parents know that 15 year olds have no business roaming around at night and want them home when it's late so that they can be safe and properly supervised.

I just think that there is more to this story, that this is just one side of the story and that the police's version might be different.

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 08/09/13 - 08:01 am
11
12
coldbeer it wasn't a school

coldbeer it wasn't a school night and it was around 11 and he was walking home. If they hadn't stopped him he probably would have been home by 11. augbball i'm sure you are correct that a two parent home would be a boost but in reality there are plenty of single family homes with success stories. And you lose credibility here because it was clearly a case of mistaken identity. He was committing no crime except walking home around 11 according to you and others. He didn't do anything wrong other than panic and tun. But he's still being labeled a bad kid by everyone. His father is not a factor here, and his mother is my age which means she was 26 or so when she had him so she was no baby. I dated an officer before and he once told me if you put your hands on a suspect you better find a reason to charge him with something because if not you're in big trouble. That was under Ronnie Strength, so I can understand the bogus charge here. CYA should have been the charge.

seenitB4
88176
Points
seenitB4 08/09/13 - 08:05 am
8
2
I agree

I just think that there is more to this story, that this is just one side of the story

ok I'll wait for the rest of this story....you just never know.

nocnoc
43450
Points
nocnoc 08/09/13 - 08:10 am
8
5
Given the story and limited details at this time,

Comments based on:
Richmond Sheriff's Office investigates brutality complaint by teen's mom
By Bianca Cain Johnson Thursday, Aug 8, 2013 9:33 PM
Last updated Friday, Aug 9, 2013 1:32 AM

I came away feeling I had read a story with information provided to steer me in a less than truthful direction.

I quickly noted, the disjointed - tossed in comment early in the story that reads;

"He didn’t want to be another Trayvon Martin."

????Why was this added in the way it was?????

I also read many fine tuned descriptions used to portray the teen as a tiny under weight helpless innocent little child with medical problems, in the story I have to wonder if there are 3 game plans a foot.
1.) ARC Racial Incitement
2.) a RCSO LAWSUIT
3.) get the charges dropped?

Is the AC looking to get a TRAYVON MARTIN angle started for local racial incitement? Maybe a few visits by the Rev.'s

BTW: The "...just a Minor " speech, falls on Deaf and Death ears around here. Given the number of underage animals shooting people in the last year alone.

SWIRES
33
Points
SWIRES 08/09/13 - 08:11 am
12
2
Let the sheriff's office investigate this not the media..

Please just let the investigation by richmond county be completed before you report on this matter anymore and then if the cops were wrong on handling the situation you can report the facts and not what some 15 year old kid running from the law says.

InChristLove
22480
Points
InChristLove 08/09/13 - 08:12 am
9
7
"After officers determined

"After officers determined Kyvan James was not a suspect in the burglary, Kenya James said, they never apologized."

Kyvan, they were doing their job. There is no need for an apology. Did you apologize to the officers for running?

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
8346
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 08/09/13 - 08:15 am
12
7
Panther

When stopped by the Police and instructed to come to them in any investigation, running away is Obstruction of an Officer. It's also a very good indication that some infraction or crime has been committed. Again, why is a "Child" allowed out that late? She said she told the officers her son suffered from epilepsy and asthma. With the current weather patterns we are having if this is true he shouldn't have been out, but, at home!! If he were my child, his other end would be sore also!!

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 08/09/13 - 08:16 am
7
8
And fyi coldbeer just because

And fyi coldbeer just because a father isn't in the picture and i'm not saying he isn't but that doesn't mean she gets public assistance. You don't know this lady or her economical status. And i'm a single parent and I get child support every week and i'm not on public assistance, in fact I make a very nice salary without your tax dollars and my children are not in the streets. My son is headed for the Air force in October and my other two children are A and B students, one of them in the gifted program. BTW if you haven't guessed i'm African American, imagine that. I also know very many African American single mothers who don't need your tax dollars to pay the bills. Quit labeling all people because of their race, because everything is not about race. Look at this kid as just that a kid.

corgimom
33163
Points
corgimom 08/09/13 - 08:20 am
9
7
What does suffering from

What does suffering from epilepsy and asthma have to do with breaking the law?

His asthma must not be too bad, if he can run like that.

corgimom
33163
Points
corgimom 08/09/13 - 08:22 am
12
6
You can't have it both ways,

You can't have it both ways, panther.

Either he was a kid, not responsible enough to take care of himself, who should've been at home and needed parental supervision, or he was old enough to be out that late and to stop when the police told him to.

One way or the other, pick.

onethickdiva
1558
Points
onethickdiva 08/09/13 - 08:22 am
6
10
Hair? School? Is this real life?

I wholeheartedly agree that he shouldn’t have been out at 11pm, I never was without a parent. And when the police identified themselves, he should have stopped. With that in mind, what 15 year old follows every rule to the tee? My daughter has not reached that age and while I was a straight A student, I was at times rebellious. Given that several black teenage males have been in the media lately with the thought of being the next, yeah I can see why he ran. Just as you admitted corgimom, you're a 55 year old white female, you don’t get followed in Macys when you get near the Dooney & Bourkes, so you and several of the other commenters have no clue what racism roams these streets. I haven’t formed an opinion on the matter yet because all the facts have not been presented but some of these comments are disgusting.

To ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts point, its NOT a school night. And I believe the curfew is 11pm. From the report the incident occured at the intersection of his street and it was "around 11pm".

And Just an Opinion, he washes his hair the same way white people with dreads wash theirs.

corgimom
33163
Points
corgimom 08/09/13 - 08:31 am
4
8
"Just as you admitted

"Just as you admitted corgimom, you're a 55 year old white female, you don’t get followed in Macys when you get near the Dooney & Bourkes, so you and several of the other commenters have no clue what racism roams these streets."

Let me tell you a little something, onethickdiva. I lived in a low-income housing project in Columbia, so your comment about how I have "no clue what racism roams these streets" is downright racist, ignorant, and just plain WRONG.

Oh yeah, I DO have a clue, and it's right here in front of me.

And I don't know about YOU, but when I go shopping, yes, salespeople watch me, just like they watch everybody else, around items that are valuable and easily shoplifted. I get stopped at Walmart. I got chased down in the Walmart parking lot on Bobby Jones by one of their "security officers". I told him to arrest me if he thought I had shoplifted.

Racism is alive, alright.

seenitB4
88176
Points
seenitB4 08/09/13 - 08:33 am
7
2
thickdiva

I agree we need to wait for more info....not enough right now..btw I have been followed in stores & even had my clothes touched by saleswomen...they thought I had something stuffed up in my back shirt...it was just a bow that came untied & was hanging down under my sweater..color doesn't matter to them..I'm white & I don't think I look like a crook...but they thought so.

corgimom
33163
Points
corgimom 08/09/13 - 08:33 am
10
4
However, let me tell you how

However, let me tell you how my parents would've handled this.

Had this happened to me, my parents would've said, "This is YOUR FAULT. The police told you to stop, you didn't. YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELF. And since you have shown us that you cannot conduct yourself properly, you will now be in the house every night by dark. Now, come here, I'm not done with you-" and I would've gotten my rear end worn out.

allhans
23773
Points
allhans 08/09/13 - 08:41 am
6
5
"you don’t get followed in

"you don’t get followed in Macys when you get near the Dooney & Bourkes...' What a limited world some live in.
My grandson is white and he and his friends have to be very careful at the mall AND while walking through a neighborhood. Have they been stopped and questioned. Yes.

So many, poor,poor, pitiful me...enough with the pity parties...we all have to follow the same laws.

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 08/09/13 - 08:40 am
0
1
lets profile shall we
Unpublished

11 pm, gebhart crt, call to police report of a burglary, 3 "youths" walking in the area, when confronted by police they run....oh no these are just innocent "children" with nothing to do out at 11pm at night...but they were not doing anything..."she wants, she wants, she wants" notice a pattern here??? its all what she wants, so getting back to toe data the article does not indicate actions by the father so that must mean single parent houshold, "baby daddy" no where to be found chances are just another "gub-ah-ment" welfare house and she will now get an atty and file suit and of course no annoucement can be made without a "local religious/community/civil rights leaders" standing by her side in her best CITI TRENDS outfit trying to look as sincere as possible with her son in a cervical collar, dabbing her eyes as she is talking into the cameras "mah child heee's a guut boy, i aint got no reason why dem poleeses wanted to hurt mah child cause he a guut boy an was jess walkin home from he friend house where he was readin da bible and stuff and dem racist poleeses jumped on he and hit him wit dey flashlites cause they be black and looked like trayvon, mah child he be guut in skuul he be gittin all A's and B's so dem cops be racist/racism fo sho and i gots to sue dem fo what dey did to mah child...kno wat i'm sayin"

Back to Top

Top headlines

Students face charges after school brawl

Eight T.W. Josey High School students are facing criminal charges following a fight that broke out in the school's hallways last Thursday.
Search Augusta jobs