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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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just an opinion
2733
Points
just an opinion 08/12/13 - 10:10 pm
13
4
Ms. James- you took a family down

Congrats. Oh by the way, I heard your racial overtones, did you happen to get a chance to see what color his adoptive baby is?

Pops
10930
Points
Pops 08/12/13 - 08:45 pm
13
4
Marion Williams has it absolutely right

"Bad things do happen to black men, Williams said. “That incident that happened in Florida just don’t happen in Florida,” he said."

What he fails to mention is that in an OVERWHELMING number of cases the "bad things" being done to black men are being done by OTHER black men. He can't say that though, cuz he gotta be keepin' it real.......

Dixieman
15999
Points
Dixieman 08/12/13 - 09:23 pm
8
4
Shooting from the hip

This is going to take a long time for all the appeals, administrative processes, lawsuits, etc. to sort themselves out and for the dust to settle, but I think this firing was too precipitous.

allhans
24147
Points
allhans 08/12/13 - 09:27 pm
6
5
Shouldn't we be concerned

Shouldn't we be concerned with the future of our law enforcement personnel. If they aren't supported by their leaders then what will we have...
Are good men going to want to take it on?

Graymare
3406
Points
Graymare 08/12/13 - 09:35 pm
11
7
Really???

“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,” James told commissioners. “I live in a predominantly black neighborhood, and all the officers that responded to that call were Caucasian.” Really?? So he wouldn't have run from a black po? What's he being taught at home? Ok, then let's do this. Send only black po's to predominantly black neighborhoods.

allhans
24147
Points
allhans 08/12/13 - 09:36 pm
3
2
I was actually talking

I was actually talking earlier about film footage, not still photos. The ones, ya know, showing the deputy doing whatever he was doing...

carcraft
27270
Points
carcraft 08/12/13 - 09:43 pm
12
9
Once again racial profiling

Once again racial profiling rears it's ugly ol head! Yep if your a white officer you can't relate in a black neighborhood simply because of the Color of your white skin!!! GOOD. GRIEF, I THOUGHT WE WERE PAST THIS! No need to apply for that job in the black area o town because of the color of your skin!!

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 08/12/13 - 09:44 pm
11
10
ICL

"Surely you don't approve of young teenagers running from the police and showing disrespect for authority?"

Of course they do!! The police are the gestapo, to those individuals. These people are the occupy crowd, who completely believe in disrespecting authority; be that authority a parent, law enforcement officer or GOD, they completely believe in disrespecting them!! They have no respect for ANYONE except themselves and people who believe as they do!! They won't refute your comment with rational logic, only give you a thumbs down, OR throw racism at you!! If you disagree with them, you're racist, period!!

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 08/12/13 - 09:46 pm
13
7
"GOOD. GRIEF, I THOUGHT WE

"GOOD. GRIEF, I THOUGHT WE WERE PAST THIS!"

We will NEVER be past it, as long as the progressives can use it as a political correctness tool, plain and simple!!

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 08/12/13 - 09:50 pm
14
8
Next time someone in this

Next time someone in this neighborhood calls 911 for an emergency, they should hold the call until black deputies can respond. Once a black deputy clears from whatever he is doing, send him. Then blame this woman's racist beliefs for the prolonged response time. Maybe her neighbor's will really appreciate her rational logic then!!

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 08/12/13 - 10:01 pm
11
9
The most common response,

The most common response, when ask why did they run from the police is; "I was scared."

Why were you scared of the police pulling up, when you were just walking home? Do their parents not teach them ANY rational thinking? That it would be better and look much less suspicious to stick around and TALK to the deputies? Explaining to them that you were just walking through the neighborhood?

The reality is, they are usually telling the truth. THEY ARE SCARED; scared to get caught doing what they were doing!! I've never known a rational person to run from the police when they were doing NOTHING wrong, period!! Every time I've chased someone and caught them, then they claim they were scared, we find something more to it. Warrants, drugs, alcohol or other criminal activity. Also, while they are running, they usually empty their pockets, so just because nothing is found, doesn't mean there was nothing there. If their parents teach them it's Ok to run from police because their "scared"; that is pathetic in of itself. My parents would NEVER had taught me that. They taught me to be a STAND UP type person!! A person of my word!! Tell the truth and you will be alright!! Guess these youths didn't get that lesson.

P.S. I still don't believe they were "Scared" just because they saw police, they were "Scared" to get caught!!

dichotomy
34745
Points
dichotomy 08/12/13 - 10:13 pm
15
6
The thing that was never

The thing that was never cleared up in all of this......WAS this kid the one who had broken into a house and was that why he was running?

Just because the cop thumped him a time or two does not mean he didn't break into the house.

It makes SOME difference to me whether this is innocent bystander 15 year old who is scared and confused OR is this an attempted burglary 15 year old attempting to run and resisting arrest. If it's the latter, then thump him again.

member
67
Points
member 08/12/13 - 10:14 pm
19
9
New Augusta Dispatcher Protocol

"emergency 911, can I help you?"
"yes mam, I believe someone is in my house"
"mam, do you have an idea what color they are? "
" yes, I believe they are black"
"Mam, the ETA for black responding officers is 20 minutes. We have some white cops in your neighborhood now, but they can't respond to your call - sit tight and good luck!"

LillyfromtheMills
13978
Points
LillyfromtheMills 08/12/13 - 10:16 pm
9
6
Here, here

MyFather15

JRC2024
9430
Points
JRC2024 08/12/13 - 10:20 pm
11
5
MY father15 has a good idea

MY father15 has a good idea about 911. If I were a police officer I am not so sure I would chase anybody. They would have to get caught again. My job is worth more to me than catching that person and having things said that may not be true.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/12/13 - 10:41 pm
8
12
Bottom line is that there are
Unpublished

Bottom line is that there are so many people forming opinions and shooting their mouths on here based on what has been printed in the augusta chronic: were you there, were you a part of the internal investigation which led to the sanction? If not, I'd say, watch what you say.

Darby
27280
Points
Darby 08/13/13 - 12:45 am
11
5
"Continue the house cleaning."

And while that's happening, Momma and son might want to be sweeping around their own back door.

More than enough blame to go around here.

leebraxjr
272
Points
leebraxjr 08/13/13 - 01:33 am
9
3
Racial good bad behavior excuses

I do not see why the system backtracked when the mother of this child said "he made a childish mistake". I have been in many cities in America and abroad that police have lost their lives and left families torn because of childish mistakes.

While this crime was going on if this child had a gun and shot the officer who would be protesting then? Yes, there are times when excessive force is used, but Rodney Kings are a dime a dozen also.

Thank God the child was not killed and thank God the officers were not killed. Some of you may take my message as crazy, but how many of you have been in a War Zone, or gang uproars such as LA with the riots.

Parents, please take responsibility of our children. Fear of the police is a dead drum. One says Augusta is still in the 60's, well it will always be until the racial process changes.

When I say racial process, this one had nothing to do with the color of your skin, but it has a lot to do with the informational process and what you want of your children and the community.

allhans
24147
Points
allhans 08/13/13 - 03:11 am
8
5
Accusations of profiling will

Accusations of profiling will continue as long as we give in to the poor me syndrome.

Riverman1
87513
Points
Riverman1 08/13/13 - 03:57 am
6
3
Think About THIS

Realize the Sheriff had to back up his men, the other ones. There was another officer present, the one who ran the kid down and was cuffing him. He has a version he told. Then there is the Sergeant who came to the scene. Then there was the Internal Affairs investigation. Those are three separate factions of officers voicing concerns to the RCSO superiors about the actions of McDuffie. The Sheriff had to respond and back THEM up.

corgimom
34681
Points
corgimom 08/13/13 - 04:17 am
11
3
“I live in a predominantly

“I live in a predominantly black neighborhood, and all the officers that responded to that call were Caucasian.”

Words fail me. And that doesn't happen too often.

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 08/13/13 - 05:15 am
7
6
Absolutely astonishing!!

A LP would actually say "were you there, were you a part of the internal investigation which led to the sanction? If not, I'd say, watch what you say."

Oh, now that is precious. An LP actually telling someone else to watch what they say!!

Where was that advice about the Martin/Zimmerman case and the THOUSANDS of other topics LP's love to spout off about!! Same questions should be asked: Were you there? Were you part of the investigation? Are you privy to evidence the jury wasn't? Do you have some sort of magical powers to KNOW the truth? If not, maybe you should "Watch what you say."

bigj706
1254
Points
bigj706 08/13/13 - 06:09 am
3
4
So you should lead by example

So you should lead by example and show everyone how not to judge who wasn't there come on lead. You didn't like it for Zimm so show everyone how its done thanks leader

nocnoc
45434
Points
nocnoc 08/13/13 - 06:17 am
5
3
1st a Question

We have had a major rewrite of the story at 1:14AM

Why not restart the comments so they are pertinent to the updated version?

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/13/13 - 06:27 am
12
4
Riverman, you make a very

Riverman, you make a very valid point but what concerns me is that this mother was allowed to voice her outrage publically at an Augusta Com­mis­sion’s public safety committee meeting before evidently the investigation was complete and the Sheriff allowed to handle this situation. It makes the Sheriff look weak like he bowed to PC pressure and an officer got the can because everyone is walking on racial egg shells.

Also what concerns me is that nothing is being said (except here in the comments) about the disrespect this young man displayed by RUNNING from the police and it appears that now it is okay if you run if you are innocent and scared.

I don't approve of striking anyone but can understand the frustration these officers deal with daily. I wasn't there so I don't know what occurred but just my personal observation, the black eye this young man displays looks more like an elbow to the eye than from a Maglite flashlight, there doesn't appear to be any cuts, scratches or abrasions on his face which I would think would be evident if he was struck several times.

With attitudes like this mother, doesn't matter if the officer was innocent or guilty, his career probably would have been ruin anyway just because he was the wrong color.

nocnoc
45434
Points
nocnoc 08/13/13 - 06:27 am
15
4
What she proposed is racist

She in as much said

Only Blacks should or can Police Blacks.

Wow! I would have to say it sounds racist.
What next only low income / unemployed people should police low income / unemployed people. Because they must be like them to understand them to arrest them?

These are walls and lines I do not want to see rebuilt again, because it smacks of the good olde boy days of the 1920-70's in Augusta.

"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.”

nocnoc
45434
Points
nocnoc 08/13/13 - 06:35 am
5
4
Free MUMIA, X, RK, remember TM

I see our Politicians are moving to near and endear themselves to the Latest Racial Rallying cry. "Remember Fla, remember TM."

Clemintime
195
Points
Clemintime 08/13/13 - 06:47 am
4
2
Breaking and Entering/Burglary Investigation????

Curious to know if there were any charges filed for trespassing, breaking and entering, theft, and etc. filed on detained suspects. I would hope fingerprints were lifted from within the house confirm whom the culprit(s) may have been.

oldfella
620
Points
oldfella 08/13/13 - 06:53 am
4
5
This woman might get her wish soon

I think after this cop gets railroaded she won't have to worry about the police relating to her son's cultural perspective - no whites will dare apply for the job. Maybe she wants the police force to be a Good Old Boyz network. I wonder what she would think if the next time her son resists arrest a black cop really whips his tail? Google up what Chris Rock says about what happens "if the cops have to chase you."

Anyway, I can't figure out what the boy's role was in the break-in. Did he just happen to be in the homeowner's yard at the same time another kid was breaking into the house? What are the odds of that happening?

KSL
135589
Points
KSL 08/13/13 - 07:13 am
5
6
If you are not guilty, why

If you are not guilty, why run fom the police?

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