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Roundtree defends decision to fire officer

Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013 8:48 PM
Last updated 9:03 PM
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Sheriff Richard Roundtree said he was supportive of ex-Deputy Brian McDuffie’s decisions while detaining a 15-year-old until the one where the deputy struck the teen in the head.



“It goes against every bit of training we’ve ever been taught,” Roundtree said Tuesday.

The sheriff fired McDuffie Monday after an investigation into allegations of excessive force while detaining Kyvan James on Leawood Court in Hephzibah on Aug. 3.

According to his mother, Kenya James, Kyvan was walking to his home with a friend when they saw blue lights outside a Leawood Court residence. Out of curiosity, the teens decided to take a shortcut near the home where police were investigating a possible burglary.

The officers, who noticed the teens, asked them to stop but they ran. James said her son made a foolish decision to run, but he did so out of fear.

Police said McDuffie assisted two other deputies in Kyvan’s arrest for obstruction of a law enforcement officer. It was then, Roundtree said, that McDuffie hit Kyvan with a flashlight.

“I have no problem with deputies giving chase or detaining the suspect,” Roundtree said. His problem, he said, came when the deputy admitted he had used his flashlight as a weapon.

Kyvan was treated at Medical College of Georgia for injuries that included bruising and swelling to both eyes.

“People say they don’t think the severity of the injuries warranted termination,” he said. “But should we have to wait until it’s worse?”

James aired her concerns to the Augusta Commission on Monday.

There have been 12 investigations into excessive force by deputies this year. Two, including McDuffie, have been substantiated and both deputies were fired, Roundtree said.

McDuffie worked as a deputy at the sheriff’s office from 2008 to 2011 before being rehired in June 2012.

McDuffie is white and Kyvan is black, but Roundtree said it does not appear the beating was racially motivated.

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KSL
139726
Points
KSL 08/14/13 - 12:48 pm
4
4
What has not been mentioned in the paper

Did an actual burglary take place, or did the caller see two people in her yard and call 911? If crimes were being reported in this area, I don't blame her. I have always looked askance when I saw people in my backyard.

My question that I have not seen answered is was the call the result of 2 teenagers disrespecting private property, or were there actually other perps who got away and left the police chasing not so very innocents who were at the very least trespassing.

KSL
139726
Points
KSL 08/14/13 - 07:30 am
4
3
It was taken down. Now that

It was taken down. Now that exposes something.

GnipGnop
12692
Points
GnipGnop 08/14/13 - 07:21 am
7
7
Scapegoat....

to soothe racial harmony amongst the fab3 commissioners. What a joke Augusta has become. No true leadership just a bunch of clowns clamoring to do 2 things...cry victim and raise taxes.

KSL
139726
Points
KSL 08/14/13 - 07:29 am
5
11
Roundtree made serious mistake that may come back to haunt him

He has fired the officer without public knowedge of the side of his story. Now that just may be the way these things are done.

But, the unintended consequences may turn out to be that a miscreant flees a leo's order to stop and when caught up with, does himself bodily harm so he can claim police brutality if there are no witnesses. Even if stupid enough to be criminals, they can be very cunning.

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 08/14/13 - 07:45 am
9
8
Apparently it was determined

Apparently it was determined that he struck this young man for no reason. I don't care if they had to chase him to Jupiter. If he was subdued and in custody they have no right to strike him, especially with a flashlight. The officer was wrong and if we allow people like this to let anger get the best of them while protecting and serving then we will start to have a lot more fatalities in police custody. Officers are held to a higher standard and they should NOT allow things like having to chase a suspect or him mouthing off as some of you say to incite violence. Words aren't lethal the last time I checked. He was not defending himself or anyone else by striking this kid. I would rather have officers on the job who can control their emotions patrolling the streets. Great decision to get rid of this degenerate cop!

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 08/14/13 - 07:47 am
0
0
DEFENDS DECISION
Unpublished

well of course what did anyone expect, roundtree said upon taking office "dey should be oddah ways to fight crime and deal wit crimah-nulls dan pittin dem in jail" and now folks you have it give the "homies" a break and fire the police officer (white). never mind the jr. thug ran upon given a command to stop so to settle everything and make it right "wit his pee-pol" fire the white cop meanwhile the jr. thug gets a pass well we all know the progression sooner or later this jr. thug, dreds and all will rob someone or be caught w/drugs and will enter is rite of passage by serving time in jail, and his mammy in that same nice orange outfit will be sitting in the front row of the court room dabbing her eyes telling anyone/everyone..."mah baby he aint do nuthin too rong and he aint not do mean it he a guut boy he jess got caught up wit de rong pee-poe"

seenitB4
93470
Points
seenitB4 08/14/13 - 07:52 am
11
1
Why do some forget

Other officers were there at the scene...other officers witnessed the events.....I don't think the good Sheriff made this decision without their input.
Thank you Rtree for the statement....I know this wasn't an easy choice to make.

internationallyunknown
4631
Points
internationallyunknown 08/14/13 - 07:53 am
7
1
I thought internal affairs

I thought internal affairs conducted the investigation....not Roundtree.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/14/13 - 08:15 am
1
8
SeenitB4, I understand your

SeenitB4, I understand your comment (8:52am) but some will say, what color are the other officers and do you really think they'll go against PC and racial politics. They want to keep their job just like everyone else. Someone needs a scapegoat.

Whether that is the case or whether this officer really deserved to be fired I'm curious if we will hear from exDeputy McDuffie.

pantherluvcik , you make some very good points up till the last statement. A lot of time and money has been invested in exDeputy McDuffie. Seems to me (and this is just my opinion) it would be more valuable to spend some time re-educating McDuffie and using this incident as a learning tool. Maybe have Kyvan and Brian spend some quality time together so each other can learn respect for the other's position. Evidently Kyvan needs a male adult in his life and Brian can learn to be more sympathic to the fears of young black male teenagers.

But what do I know, I'd rather try and make good come from a bad situation than adding another unemployed male to the system and another family dependant on the government for support, and having another young black male continue to think white LEO's are just out to harrass you.

Truth Matters
7825
Points
Truth Matters 08/14/13 - 08:25 am
8
6
Projection

No one has yet made race an issue. Not even the mother.
Let's stop projecting our bias onto others.

ICL, seems like what you are advocating should have already been learned by the officer. He wa not a rookie. I don't know a minority parent who has not had the "talk" with their son about how to comport oneself when approached by law enforcement. I hope other kids learn from this case, as well as the kids involved. Running is not okay.

When I hear a non-minority parent advocating to give another chance to the cop who popped their kid with a flashlight, then I will take them seriously.

Truth Matters
7825
Points
Truth Matters 08/14/13 - 08:32 am
5
3
Re-educating McDuffie

@ICL
I did want to acknowledge that I know of churches that regularly bring in law enforcement to speak to their youth about appropriate behavior when approached. So your point about partnering is well-taken.
Thanks and have a good day.

KSL
139726
Points
KSL 08/14/13 - 08:38 am
4
3
Apparently

Panther is privy to information that we, as readers of the Chronicle are not privy to.

GiantsAllDay
10244
Points
GiantsAllDay 08/14/13 - 08:53 am
4
6
ICL, You may be on to

ICL,
You may be on to something here: "Maybe have Kyvan and Brian spend some quality time together so each other can learn respect for the other's position"
A BEER SUMMIT!!

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/14/13 - 09:08 am
4
7
Only you GAD would take a

Only you GAD would take a serious heart-felt idea for a solution and make a joke out of it. Should not have expected better from you I suppose.

Truth Matters, I agree Brian was not a rookie and should have known better but like most of us, when we get "ticked" off sometimes we do things we know better not to do. I wasn't offering an excuse for his behavior only what I thought would be a better solution to savalging a bad situation where both sides (Law enforcement and the young black male population) could benefit and learn.

Hope you have a good day as well.

BamaMan
2622
Points
BamaMan 08/14/13 - 09:19 am
6
6
Future

Let's just keep this teenager's name (not child's name) in mind for future reference.....

GiantsAllDay
10244
Points
GiantsAllDay 08/14/13 - 09:29 am
8
3
ICL, If you remember

ICL,
If you remember correctly a beer summit actually happened at the White House. Obama, Biden, the cop and the homeowner. Remember? How about a grape nehi summit? Copenhaver, Roundtree, Kyvan and Brian. Could even put on TV. Lighten up a little, OK?

Little Lamb
47897
Points
Little Lamb 08/14/13 - 09:30 am
8
2
Correction

At 9:25 Truth Matters posted:

No one has yet made race an issue. Not even the mother.
Let's stop projecting our bias onto others.

From Tuesday's story about Kenya James’ speech to the 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,” she told commissioners. “I live in a predominantly black neighborhood, and all the officers that responded to that call were Caucasian.”

Here's the link:

Kenya James

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/14/13 - 09:55 am
5
5
"If you remember correctly a

"If you remember correctly a beer summit actually happened at the White House."

Yeah, and the results amounted to NOTHING, zilch. Same as this firing. Nothing positive comes from it.

Lighten up alittle.....I'm as light as a feather. Life is good and God is great!

allhans
24483
Points
allhans 08/14/13 - 10:38 am
4
4
I see nothing good coming

I see nothing good coming from what I have read. Maybe how to make a name for yourself?

tom31510
341
Points
tom31510 08/14/13 - 11:35 am
8
5
Firing cops vs firing teachers

I find it interesting that a cop can be fired immediately for a perceived wrongdoing yet it takes a number of documented wrongdoings to get a bad teacher fired. I have nothing against teachers, I used to be one. However, I worked with a lot of teachers that should have been anywhere but a classroom that were in the paperwork process to get rid of them. Folks need to realize that when cops answer calls that have no idea if they will return alive. When cops show up they don't expect the culprit to walk up with wrists extended for handcuffs; they expect to see them trying to get away, running. If you are in a crime scene, don't act like a criminal & you won't be treated like one.

validPoint
982
Points
validPoint 08/14/13 - 01:34 pm
5
4
Level headed.

It seems to me that the sheriff is a very level headed person. No doubt, based on the situation, he took proper measures. Hopefully, some people here in Augusta will be able to see how much the city has been protected by the action Sheriff Roundtree took. An excellent leader will always diffuse a volitile situation before it escalates. Those of you who are in effective management already know this.

mrenee2003
2946
Points
mrenee2003 08/14/13 - 02:18 pm
7
5
Video

Does it matter if the kid was mouthing off? The courts have already ruled that people can say anything they want to a police officer: curse, scream, complain, etc. because it's protected under the first amendment. Hitting the kid with a flashlight because he ran away or mouthed off is wrong and it was the right decision to fire him. Police receive an extensive battery of tests to ensure they are fit for the job and extensively trained. Hitting a person (child, kid, adult) for popping off is wrong and the officer showed poor restraint. I would like to know why he quit the force a few years ago. In terms of the comment about teachers/police officers: is the writer saying that teachers that hit kids with flashlights for popping off are not getting fired?

Truth Matters
7825
Points
Truth Matters 08/14/13 - 02:29 pm
7
1
Correction

LL@10:30 am
Oh, snap!
Thanks for that correction. I try so hard to not get caught in the pitfall of only dwelling on race that, even though I must have read that, it is not what I focused on.

Again, thanks for the correction and putting that in proper context.
I do still give the mom credit for appearing very measured in her demeanor when I caught a snippet of the story on the local news.

happychimer
19384
Points
happychimer 08/14/13 - 04:51 pm
6
3
Common sense says never hit

Common sense says never hit anyone in the head! I know that. You know that. It can cause brain damage.I don't care who it is. police, parent, fireman, stranger. You don't hurt anyone in the head. period.

KSL
139726
Points
KSL 08/14/13 - 05:28 pm
2
5
Someone needed to tell

Someone needed to tell Trayvon that.

KSL
139726
Points
KSL 08/14/13 - 05:34 pm
4
4
Austin said today that he

Austin said today that he didn't think McDuffie would have trouble getting a job because other agencies around the area were not pleased with the way it had been handled.

KSL
139726
Points
KSL 08/14/13 - 05:39 pm
3
4
I sure do wish I had seen his

I sure do wish I had seen his that guy's facebook page before it got taken down. It must have been quite damaging.

mrenee2003
2946
Points
mrenee2003 08/14/13 - 05:57 pm
3
3
Got it, KSL

If I need to defend myself against someone stalking me with a gun, I will remember not to hit him/her in the head. Thanks for that.

mrenee2003
2946
Points
mrenee2003 08/14/13 - 06:00 pm
6
4
Please

let me know what business hires the fired cop. I don't intend to do business with a company that hires a person that hits a kid with a flashlight.

nocnoc
46992
Points
nocnoc 08/14/13 - 06:18 pm
3
6
mrenee2003 - lets reword this a different way and how it sounds.

The acid test

Please let me know where you work so we can call your boss to protest you trying to keep a person charged with NO crime or criminal record from feeding his family.

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