McDuffie, 33, was fired by Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree on Aug. 12 after an investigation into allegations the deputy used excessive force while detaining a 15-year-old.
According to his termination letter, McDuffie was helping another officer handcuff Kyvan James when he stepped on the teen’s back and hit him in the head with a flashlight.
James was being held after he and another teen ran from deputies, who were investigating a possible burglary. He was arrested for obstruction of an officer but was not charged for the burglary, which police determined to be a false call.
Roundtree defended the termination and said the blow to the head could have resulted in serious or lethal injury.
Officers have 10 days following termination to file an appeal.
According to the appeal of McDuffie’s termination letter, Attorney Ken Nimmons hand-delivered it to Roundtree nine days after the firing.
The disciplinary board has 45 days to make a final decision.