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Deputy fired after investigation into teen's injuries

Monday, Aug 12, 2013 2:26 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013 1:14 AM
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Richmond County sheriff’s Deputy Brian McDuffie was fired Monday for his involvement in an Aug. 3 incident in which a 15-year-old boy was injured.

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Kenya James talks to Augusta Commission members about her son Kyvan's encounter with police, in which she said he was struck repeatedly with a flashlight.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Kenya James talks to Augusta Commission members about her son Kyvan's encounter with police, in which she said he was struck repeatedly with a flashlight.

Kyvan James, who was charged with obstruction of an officer, and his mother, Kenya James, alleged that deputies used a metal flashlight to repeatedly strike the teen in the head.

Three deputies had tried to detain the teen and another juvenile about 11 p.m. while investigating a burglary on Leawood Court in Heph­zibah, but Kyvan James fled on foot. The deputies caught up with him near his Gebhardt Court home.

The sheriff’s office has not provided the names of the other deputies involved. McDuffie, 33, was rehired by the agency in June 2012 after being employed there from 2008 to 2011.

Kenya James was speaking to the Augusta Com­mis­sion’s public safety committee Monday when Sheriff Rich­ard Roundtree announced McDuffie’s firing. She had her attorney and friends by her side, while Kyvan was at home with a migraine, she said.

The mother said she was looking not for money but for change at the sheriff’s office, in the form of diversity, proper training, education and respect.

“I’d like to think my son’s incident would have gone a lot differently if there had been an African-American at the scene that he could have related to,” she told commissioners. “I live in a predominantly black neighborhood, and all the officers that responded to that call were Caucasian.”

She said her son, a black teen with dreadlocks, is part of a demographic “that doesn’t see law enforcement officers as friends” and instead might flee the police.

“He made a mistake; he panicked, he had an error of judgment, but he’s 15,” she said.

James said proper training might enable officers to respond with force appropriate to a suspect’s size, then seek medical attention if necessary.

“Once the dust settles, after you hit someone upside the head, ask them if they require medical attention, or if not, do the humane thing and call for medical attention,” she said.

James said she had to beg deputies to call for medical attention for her son.

Education at home and in school would help young people respond appropriately to law enforcement, she said.

As a single mother raising two young men, James said she lacks the experience of what black men encounter with law enforcement, “so therefore, outside help would be appreciated.”

Respect of the badge and of residents are also necessary, she said.

“I’m sure the officers are taught this and are told this, but there needs to be something in place to ensure that respect is happening in these encounters,” James said.

Commissioner Alvin Ma­son told James he was glad the incident “wasn’t just a 100 percent negative encounter,” noting the responding sergeant whom James said corrected the deputies’ behavior.

James said the internal affairs officers who investigated the incident also “have been great.”

Commissioner Marion Wil­liams said that despite the commission’s lack of jurisdiction over the sheriff’s office, “we do have concern for the taxpayers of Augusta, your son included.”

Bad things do happen to black men, Williams said, referring to the Trayvon Martin case.

“That incident that happened in Florida just don’t happen in Florida,” he said.

James noted that her son had no criminal record and tested negative for drugs at the hospital where he was eventually taken.

Commissioner Bill Lock­ett said James “had done an outstanding job” presenting her concerns and urged youngsters not to flee the police.

“I know it’s tempting to run, but don’t run,” he said. “I hope that your son will not have any long-lasting adverse effects from what happened.”

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my.voice
4818
Points
my.voice 08/12/13 - 02:52 pm
11
4
The job of law enforcement is

The job of law enforcement is hard. This kid runs and who knows what else. I'm glad it's not my job. There's no excuse in roughing up the young man, but today's teens are about as mouthy as they come. I was never much afraid of the popo but I sure was of my mama.

Hopefully this gets resolved for what it is.

specsta
6505
Points
specsta 08/12/13 - 02:56 pm
10
18
Progress

Now we await the disposition of the other two officers and the dropping of the "obstruction" charge...

Continue the house cleaning.

Marinerman1
4841
Points
Marinerman1 08/12/13 - 02:58 pm
14
9
I'm not convinced this was

I'm not convinced this was justified, versus just trying to be PC. We'll see as things progress.

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 08/12/13 - 03:06 pm
0
0
If you hit your child in the
Unpublished

If you hit your child in the head with a flashlight (his being "mouthy" or not), DFACS would remove the child from the home, but it's OK for police officers to do so? The firing seems to be in order here.

Lorraine
140
Points
Lorraine 08/12/13 - 03:20 pm
11
18
It does not matter whether

It does not matter whether you are convinced whether the firing of this deputy was justified. The photographs helped validate this teen's assertions. There should be no tolerance for what this deputy did. No excuses...

Sweet son
10396
Points
Sweet son 08/12/13 - 04:00 pm
9
13
Where are Al and Jessie?

They should be down here racebaiting and stirring up the black community. Not much money to be made on this little insignificant incident so you won't see them! LOL! Guess we will have to see what the local Black Preachers Caucus does!

Riverman1
83807
Points
Riverman1 08/12/13 - 04:13 pm
7
2
Riverman Said...

Riverman said on 08/09/13 - 04:15 pm in the Chronicle comments. That was last Friday during the radio program.

“It's kind of funny to hear Austin going out on a bad limb.”

grinder48
1954
Points
grinder48 08/12/13 - 04:16 pm
0
0
Child Endangerment
Unpublished

Good parents teach their children to never run from police. Parents of Kyvan James should be arrested for child endangerment for not teaching him properly. What do you expect when you run from the police?

allhans
23641
Points
allhans 08/12/13 - 04:30 pm
13
3
How badly was the boy hurt?

How badly was the boy hurt? I haven't heard if he was hospitalized or how serious his injuries are.
I would think (if this is the first time) that the officer would have been reprimanded but NOT fired.

allhans
23641
Points
allhans 08/12/13 - 04:34 pm
8
3
"The photographs helped

"The photographs helped validate this teen's assertions. There should be no tolerance for what this deputy did. No excuses..."

Where did you see the photographs? Are they posted?

southern2
6122
Points
southern2 08/12/13 - 04:37 pm
18
9
Looks like Deputy Brian

Looks like Deputy Brian McDuffie was hung out to dry on this one. Time will tell if this firing was justified as we watch to see if Kyvan can keep himself out of trouble in the future. I thought the injuries were pretty mild for someone resisting arrest.

CricketSeranade
593
Points
CricketSeranade 08/12/13 - 04:51 pm
11
6
Actually allhans

he did an interview with WRDW and his right eye was puffy and slightly discolored. It certainly wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be. I was expecting the eye to be swollen shut and possibly some abrasions.

Little Lamb
45908
Points
Little Lamb 08/12/13 - 04:55 pm
20
6
Message

Sheriff Roundtree has just issued a "do not chase" order by firing this man.

GiantsAllDay
9583
Points
GiantsAllDay 08/12/13 - 04:55 pm
7
17
Why didn't Roundtree arrest

Why didn't Roundtree arrest this officer for assault and battery and book him in jail? He just got fired. That's it??

Fiat_Lux
15420
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/12/13 - 05:04 pm
16
3
I guess they will need to say "Please stop running away..."

instead of going after possible perps running away from a possible crime scene.

Oh, yeah. I feel so much more secure in my home, and have so much more confidence in LEOs. You betcha!

dichotomy
32902
Points
dichotomy 08/12/13 - 05:10 pm
11
2
I'd love to come to the

I'd love to come to the defense this deputy by saying "8 to 80, sick, lame, or lazy; if you run from cops and resist arrest don't complain if you get thumped".......BUT......since there is a previous issue of money between me and him in involving several hundred dollars, I think I'll pass on presenting a vigorous defense on his behalf. I remember almost falling down laughing at the time when I was trying to find/contact him and someone told me that he had been hired as a Richmond County deputy. At the time I suspected that it wouldn't be too long before I was reading about him in the paper.

Little Lamb
45908
Points
Little Lamb 08/12/13 - 05:15 pm
13
6
Dismissal Letter

Austin Rhodes just finished reading the letter from the Sheriff Department to McDuffie in which McDuffie is relieved of employment as a Richmond County employee. The letter is quite unprofessional and goes against all training I have had in this matter. A lawyer will have a field day with this unjustified firing.

nocnoc
42512
Points
nocnoc 08/12/13 - 05:24 pm
17
7
I'll have to side with the LEO on this

I feel the termination is PC move to head off a major race issue and to minimize the upcoming expected lawsuit by Mad Mama.

On the other hand I hope Deputy McDuffie sues to clear his name and brings out the complete incident facts, if he is innocent of intent.

Again Scott Peeples has shown his true personality.
1st time during the Election and the comments he made and now again.

If all I have heard is correct, then many a RCSO Deputy has to be wondering now, if they will get backed up by their
management, or tossed to the wolves by the desk jockeys in the name of Political Butt Cover.

Riverman1
83807
Points
Riverman1 08/12/13 - 05:24 pm
11
1
The RCSO authorities had two

The RCSO authorities had two eyewitnesses as to what happened and they were two officers. Did the other officer feel McDuffie's actions were inappropriate?

redapples
660
Points
redapples 08/12/13 - 05:28 pm
14
5
It would seem that the firing

It would seem that the firing just gave the mother more ammunition for her lawsuit. Well RC taxpayers there goes another chunk of undisclosed change.

Teacup5560
45
Points
Teacup5560 08/12/13 - 05:28 pm
7
13
So sad

At some point in your life why can't you just say that something is wrong rather than to make ignorant comments . It's some things people would not know about you if you didn't make these posts. It's one thing to think that you are a racist but when they read your post everybody know where you stand. Think before you make a post. Then to say he didn't beat him that bad. Does that make it okay?

Kingbiscuitboy
402
Points
Kingbiscuitboy 08/12/13 - 05:29 pm
13
2
Duty to his mother

This young man now has a duty to his mother who filed the complaint against the fired officer to be a model citizen.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 08/12/13 - 06:36 pm
9
3
Wow!!

The same persons posts this: "It's some things people would not know about you if you didn't make these posts. It's one thing to think that you are a racist but when they read your post everybody know where you stand."

Then posts this: "Think before you make a post".

Maybe someone needs to take their own advice!!

gargoyle
16989
Points
gargoyle 08/12/13 - 06:59 pm
10
3
The citizens of Richmond

The citizens of Richmond County Lose all levels of this case. Everybody involved now files a law suit and the police on the beat look the other way. Ain't no heros saints in this tale and every one ends up a victim with the way it has been handled.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/12/13 - 06:48 pm
6
13
Yes, Gargoyle, if I interpret
Unpublished

Yes, Gargoyle, if I interpret your opinion correctly, it was much better when cases of police abuse and brutality were just swept under the rug and everyone just looked the other way. Ahhh, the good old days.

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 08/12/13 - 07:00 pm
17
9
I would like to know what

I would like to know what type of discipline this mother gave to her 15 year old son for being disrespectful and running from the police instead of acting like a responsible young man and answering the police questions whether he was scared or not.

reader59
36
Points
reader59 08/12/13 - 07:06 pm
16
9
Mother should be Ashamed.

Investigation, yeah right. Shame on Sheriff Roundtree for trying to be PC. Shame on the Augusta Commissioners for their part; got that woman on that Agenda so QUICK, hum. The women in the house was scared and called the police for protection; she saw the kid in her yard. Again why was he on her property? That boy was wrong to run. And now mommy is taking care of it and a man's life is ruined; hope she is proud. She should make that brat apologize to everyone; disrespecting ALL police officers who are of all colors. No let's garner sympathy for being stupid. What is she going to do when he is out late at night and gets jumped by a gang? Who is she going to blame? Look in the mirror lady.

gargoyle
16989
Points
gargoyle 08/12/13 - 07:08 pm
11
5
With all the political

With all the political posturing justice just went out the window. Now it will be about who is more PC, No saints in this story just losers. Every body ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time but John Q Public will pay the price for bad handling.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 08/12/13 - 07:56 pm
11
9
"Ahhh, the good old
Unpublished

"Ahhh, the good old days."
palmetto, you mean back when the racist democrats ran things in the south? I had hoped we were pass that but it seems everything is about race. But then with racist hatred that has been spread by the democrats, progressives and black leaders I am not surprised.

CobaltGeorge
158501
Points
CobaltGeorge 08/12/13 - 08:20 pm
7
7
Their's Your Answer ARC.

"Sheriff Roundtree has just issued a "do not chase" order by firing this man."

I had great hopes for Roundtree, Now I'm second thinking my feelings.
Everybody now knows why ARC is becoming the clone Detroit.

Austin ready poured it heavy on this issue today....I had to side with him on his evaluation.

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