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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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KSL
120955
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?

KSL
120955
Points
KSL 08/13/13 - 08:17 am
6
6
If I see two white (or black

If I see two white (or black 15 year olds, or one of each) in my backyard I an calling the police. I think they would rather deal with the police than with me and my judge.

Little Lamb
43808
Points
Little Lamb 08/13/13 - 07:40 am
6
8
Scapegoat

Riverman posted:

Realize the Sheriff had to back up his men, the other ones.

Yeah, if you've determined to sacrifice just one to the mob, make sure it's the one with lowest seniority and the one with skin color opposite of the mob.

nocnoc
38237
Points
nocnoc 08/13/13 - 07:43 am
3
5
The Chris Rock video (cleaned up a little)

should be made into a Public Service Announcement.

Then played on various media every Friday and Saturday night.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJCx0t4Lsd4

Little Lamb
43808
Points
Little Lamb 08/13/13 - 07:58 am
8
7
Racial Responding

Kenya James told the Augusta Commission public safety committee:

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

Yesterday, on the Austin Rhodes Radio Program, we heard Austin say that the sheriff’s dispatcher issued an all tone alert about the home invasion in progress. Austin explained that such an alert means that any and all deputies in the vicinity should quickly respond to the alleged crime in progress.

In response to the "all tone" alert, three white deputies arrived at the scene promptly — so promptly that there were still people on the scene that did not belong there. One surrendered and one fled.

Words have consequences. Ms. James’ call for only black officers to respond to calls for help in black neighborhoods is likely to lead to unintended consequences that will hurt those same black neighborhoods. Take a moment and imagine what happens at the next "all tone" alert in that neighborhood.

seenitB4
81048
Points
seenitB4 08/13/13 - 08:02 am
7
5
Litle Lamb

Do you believe EVERYTHING you hear on the radio??

Take a deep breath my friend...just maybe the police got this right!

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 08/13/13 - 08:04 am
8
10
I didn't see any article

I didn't see any article stating that this child was in the yard of the person calling the police for a break in. I thought they said they were on the way to the home and saw him and another child walking through a path near the house that was on the way to his own home. Please point me to the article that stated he was in her yard.
I bet if this happened to a child belonging to one of you upstanding citizens posting here the posts would look a lot different. The child is only 15 and he panicked and tried to get to his mom. Take this opportunity to tell your children what they should do in a situation like this. Quit being petty, this officer used excessive force and he got what he deserved.

Little Lamb
43808
Points
Little Lamb 08/13/13 - 08:11 am
6
6
Progressive Discipline

One of the principles in use in progressive organizations is progressive discipline. It disciplines mistakes made on the job, and it makes the discipline fit the severity of the infraction and it takes into account the past record of the one who made the mistake. We have absolutely no information into McDuffie’s personnel file, but it seems to me that he should receive a lower reprimand than loss of career if his personnel file is clean.

my.voice
4643
Points
my.voice 08/13/13 - 08:12 am
8
6
So the mother blamed the race

So the mother blamed the race of the cops for her child running? It sounds to me like SHE is wanting segregation of the races to me.

I'm sorry, mam, we understand your home is being robbed but we have no (insert color here) officers to respond to your area. Please call us again at a later time.

ARCSO

KSL
120955
Points
KSL 08/13/13 - 08:24 am
8
9
panther

It was in previous articles that he was in the backyard of a resident. Was he, I don't know, but that was what appeared in print. Unless he is mentally challenged, at 15 he should danged well know how to behave.

mchastainga
152
Points
mchastainga 08/13/13 - 08:24 am
7
5
sickening

Justified - the kid was wrong in running - officer was wrong in his reaction obviously, as he was terminated - end of story. HOWEVER, was it necessary for the race card to be played? Seriously? this is sickening and sad and the black community wants to know why there is a racial divide? Well hello? Who stirs up the race pot? The only race in this scenairo was when the kid ran and the office chased him. Enough said. Mom needed to have her head examined with her son - no race issue here and our BLACK sherriff took care of the WHITE officer didn't he? So let's all calm down and make this about the situation not about race. You don't see white people forming their own NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Caucasian People) because it would be ignorant just as this whole race card mom played and most of them that are dealt in society are uncalled for. Unite people and let's work toward making Augusta a better place not dividing our communities and making law enforcement out to be the bad guys. Both parties in this case were wrong and both should be held accountable for their reactions - true???

KSL
120955
Points
KSL 08/13/13 - 08:28 am
4
7
Actually we only know the

Actually we only know the story which comes from the mom and the misbehaving 15 year old.

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 08/13/13 - 08:49 am
6
3
KSL I haven't seen that

KSL I haven't seen that article, but I have seen the articles that stated it was determined that he was NOT involved in the burglary attempt. Apparently i'm the only one who read those articles as well, because people keep trying to make him guilty of that too.

...point to ponder
705
Points
...point to ponder 08/13/13 - 08:52 am
5
5
this mother made a mistake....

She should have had her son there at the commission meeting apologizing for being disrespectful and stupid. (*his actions could have got him really hurt... innocent or not.) And she should be thanking the officer for protecting our community.

But, no....

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
7054
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 08/13/13 - 09:06 am
5
4
My Child

Would this have happened with my child? NO. My child would not have been out after 10 pm. If my child ran from the police, then their other end would have been experiencing pain also. There is no excuse for a 15 yo (child, as the mother put it) to be out that late. If the child is not capable of making good decisions then they apparently need closer parental guidance!!

Austin Rhodes
2852
Points
Austin Rhodes 08/13/13 - 09:13 am
8
7
I continue to chuckle...

...about the lack of information some have on the night of the incident.

Oh well.

In the meantime, Riverman, Kenya James is stealing your long standing plan for Augusta...which has always been "black folks in charge of majority black communities"...
(a race exclusive philosophy that if applied universally would have resulted in the ouster of EVERY black US Senator we have ever had, and the sitting President of the USA...but what the hey?)

She wants all black cops for black neighborhoods. She owes you a royalty.

myfather15
49314
Points
myfather15 08/13/13 - 09:13 am
6
4
pantherluv

"I thought they said they were on the way to the home and saw him and another child walking through a path near the house that was on the way to his own home."

I believe you wrote, NEAR the home. Certainly, as a law enforcement officer responding to a BURGLARY in progress, if we see someone "Near" the home being burglarized, we shouldn't try to talk to them. If they FLEE upon our arrival in the area, we certainly shouldn't chase them to find out WHY, they are fleeing!! Doesn't matter that the Courts have said persons FLEEING upon police presence, is reasonable suspicion to chase.

We should stop these practices immediately!! There is absolutely NO WAY, someone NEAR the area, could be responsible for the burglary, right? We should NEVER stop anyone and question them, that's a violation of their civil rights; even if they flee!!

Pathetic!!!

myfather15
49314
Points
myfather15 08/13/13 - 09:22 am
6
5
Can someone tell me the last

Can someone tell me the last time we've heard of an incident of police "thumping" a white person? Because it has happened, MANY times.

Ooh wait, I've got one better; when the last time we heard of a black officer, "thumping" a white person? Because THAT has happened as well. Oooooh, the humanity!!

mchastainga
152
Points
mchastainga 08/13/13 - 09:31 am
4
3
Always excuses

Point to Ponder - I agree with you. However you have to realize the excuses are always endless and society is to blame here not mom or the 15 year old. This is the way mom views things obviously not objectively and not trying to make a positive role model her child can look up to and learn from a juvenile mistake and move forward toward a brighter future instead of an "I'm entitled" mentality.

navycubfan
194
Points
navycubfan 08/13/13 - 09:36 am
7
3
One thing that bothers me.....

In the original article there was a comment from either young Mr James or his mother about not wanting this to be another "Trayvon". Let's look at the facts. Zimmerman was NOT a law enforcement officer, he was neighborhood watch. PO McDuffie is(was) a LEO. Huge difference. Maybe if Trayvon had run he'd still be alive. Maybe if young Mr. James had not run, he wouldn't have gotten thumped. Hit with a flashlight? not with a little shiner like the picture showed.

navycubfan
194
Points
navycubfan 08/13/13 - 09:33 am
0
0
One thing that bothers me.....

In the original article there was a comment from either young Mr James or his mother about not wanting this to be another "Trayvon". Let's look at the facts. Zimmerman was NOT a law enforcement officer, he was neighborhood watch. PO McDuffie is(was) a LEO. Huge difference. Maybe if Trayvon had run he'd still be alive. Maybe if young Mr. James had not run, he would have gotten thumped. Hit with a flashlight? not with a little shiner like the picture showed.

Austin Rhodes
2852
Points
Austin Rhodes 08/13/13 - 09:40 am
8
7
Trayvon Martin would be alive...

...had he not physically attacked Zimmerman, throwing the first punch.

Little Lamb
43808
Points
Little Lamb 08/13/13 - 09:51 am
8
4
Two Stories

I suspect the editor paused before making the decision to publish these two stories together as one. I think the decision is correct. The appeal to race by Ms. James led to the firing.

Oh, sure, the decision to fire came a few moments before Ms. James’ speech at the committee meeting, but the content of her speech had been communicated to commissioners Mason, Williams, and Lockett; and they made the appeal to Roundtree to find a scapegoat. Yesterday's actions were well-scripted and well-rehearsed.

GAXXII
30
Points
GAXXII 08/13/13 - 10:11 am
6
9
My Child

My 17 year old who was pulled over in her brand new car and questioned about her car and where she got it. If I had not been on my way to work and saw her being questioned illegally in a parking lot in Columbia County I would have not been in the know. She did nothing wrong but got the blue light special from the local police. Of course, when I pulled into the parking lot he said she hadn't use a turn signal. Please, no one in the CSRA uses a turn signal.
She got off with a warning but I know and she knows the cop was a liar. And she wonders still what would have happen if I had not pulled up.

seenitB4
81048
Points
seenitB4 08/14/13 - 08:58 am
4
1
...about the lack of

...about the lack of information some have on the night of the incident.

What amazes me is thinking we know what happened ..

Only the people there on that night really know.

Kingbiscuitboy
349
Points
Kingbiscuitboy 08/13/13 - 10:32 am
0
0
Racist democrats?

Chacushman, these racist democrats have now evolved into what we call racist republicans now days. They crossed over to the dark side years ago. Like Lindsey Graham said, " Not Enough 'Angry White Guys' to sustain GOP".

mchastainga
152
Points
mchastainga 08/13/13 - 10:40 am
0
0
another Mom taking up for a child that did wrong ?

So GAXII you think it is ok for your 17 year old to drive recklessly because "everyone else does it?" and you are blaming the cop for pulling her over for not using a turn signal? - did you go on your "child's" word of the scenario - how was the cop a liar here? Did i miss something in this story line?
I just don't get the fact that parents are so quick to accuse authority figures of being villans here and the "precious angels" that they have raised can do no wrong??? My parents raised me and I my child that authority figures are to be respected and the child was generally in the wrong or had some reason to be suspected of guilt not vice versa.

AutumnLeaves
5939
Points
AutumnLeaves 08/13/13 - 10:41 am
6
6
GAXXI, "nobody in the CSRA

GAXXI, "nobody in the CSRA uses a turn signal" what a lame excuse! Not using your blinker is a dangerous, stupid, inconsiderate, illegal thing to do. Why would an officer lie about it? They have more important things to do than pull someone over to a public place for no reason. He taught her a lesson that might save her life one day; you should be thanking him. A lot of people in the CSRA are doing other stupid, dangerous things everyday, like meth, cocaine, heroin, passing on double lines, speeding, texting while driving, you think that is okay just because "everybody is doing it?"

AutumnLeaves
5939
Points
AutumnLeaves 08/13/13 - 10:44 am
9
5
If I had any doubt about the

If I had any doubt about the racism involved in this firing, Keyvan's mom confirmed them. She is making racist statements. I have serious doubts that this officer should have been fired. I hope he is reinstated based on what my sources tell me. I also want to know why she was allowed to have a platform at the commission meeting so quickly when other pressing matters keep getting postponed for ridiculous periods of time. Something is rotten in Denmark.

mchastainga
152
Points
mchastainga 08/13/13 - 10:53 am
3
3
another mom defending child's stupidity

GAXII - so let me get this straight - you are defending your child who drives recklessly and the cop is a liar? how is that?Did I miss an line in the story - Hmm...this sounds so familiar lately - My angel does no wrong only authority figures are corrupt and do all the wrong in society. My "child" never would make a bad decision. WAKE UP PEOPLE - is everyone on drugs here? Your kids need parenting! They need to be disciplined, they need role models, they need to be shown right and wrong - this is not the way to never give them correction and say oh it's ok sweetie mommy will make the big bad copper go away they can't tell you what to do! Excuse me while I go barf. When she smashes this new car go buy her a nicer one - hopefully she doesn't hurt herself or anyone else in the wreck. Have a nice time in Fantasyland I hear the weather is fabulous there year round.

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