Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Ex-deputy Brian McDuffie speaks out about his firing

Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 12:23 AM
Last updated 1:36 AM
  • Follow Crime & courts

Brian McDuffie prided himself on being a deputy who opposed police brutality, but now his name appears on police brutality Web sites.

Back | Next
Ex-Richmond County sheriff's Deputy Brian McDuffie has filed lawsuits against the sheriff's office and city commissioners. He says the firing has ruined his name.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Ex-Richmond County sheriff's Deputy Brian McDuffie has filed lawsuits against the sheriff's office and city commissioners. He says the firing has ruined his name.


The former Richmond Coun­ty deputy was fired in Au­gust after the sheriff’s office said he assaulted a 15-year-old during an arrest. He initially refused to discuss the case, but he contacted The Augusta Chronicle this month to complain about what he termed a “botched” investigation.

McDuffie, 33, said his firing was unjustified, racist and political in nature.

“They have ruined my law enforcement career and my name,” he said.

McDuffie, who said he has lawsuits against the sheriff’s office and city commissioners, sees irony in that some now consider him a bad police officer. He recalled intervening years ago when he found several deputies abusing a suspect.

“I walked in the house and they were kicking that guy to death,” he said. “I got in the deputies’ faces and said don’t ever do that in front of me again.”

The events that led to his firing started last summer, after Kenya James filed a complaint against him and two other deputies when her son was taken into custody Aug. 3.

McDuffie and deputies Chris­tian Gandy and Jason Payne were called to Lea­wood Court after a home­owner
said she believed some­one was inside her home.

According to an internal affairs investigation, the deputies were searching the home when they heard the homeowner yell, “They are running out the back.” The deputies then saw two black males fleeing. They gave chase, splitting up to catch the two teens.

Payne was able to catch one teen, but it took both Gan­dy and McDuffie to get the other, identified as Kyvan James.

According to the investigation, Gandy had Kyvan on the ground and was struggling to get him handcuffed when McDuffie came to assist. Police said McDuffie struck Kyvan on the side of his head with a metal flashlight and then stepped on the teen to keep him down.

Kyvan’s mother told police she arrived to find her asthmatic and epileptic son in the back of a police car with no medical treatment and a swollen eye. The teens were released after they were determined to not be involved in the burglary.

According to McDuffie’s Aug. 12 termination letter, Sheriff Richard Roundtree called the act of striking the teen unjustifiable and unacceptable. The officer appealed his firing but lost.

In December, the city settled with the teen’s family for $55,000.

McDuffie admitted using a straight-arm strike to regain control over Kyvan, whom he said appeared to be rolling over and reaching in the direction of Gandy’s gunbelt. He could not say that the polymer plastic – not metal – flashlight in his hand didn’t make contact with the teen, but he said it was not intentional if it did.

“I told them if it made contact there was no deliberate act,” McDuffie said. “It just happened to be in my hand. I said, ‘What am I supposed to do when we’re in a fight? Am I supposed to run and put all my stuff away?’ ”

A review of his internal investigation file has him wondering why more witnesses weren’t interviewed and
what happened to recordings from several interviews.

According to the file obtained by The Chronicle, the recorder “for unknown reasons” stopped working five minutes and 17 seconds into Mc­Duffie’s interview. During an interview with Payne, the recorder “malfunctioned” and the interview “could not be retrieved from the recorder.”

McDuffie said he is concerned that the investigators and sheriff ignored the threat the teen made against deputies. Sgt. Mark Chestang wrote in his statement that Kyvan’s mother said he had “some issues and has been in trouble before,” then said he believed she also said the teen
had trouble with authority.

However, one deputy and a neighbor told police they heard McDuffie threaten to break the teen’s neck if he didn’t stop moving.

Lt. Calvin Chew said Fri­day that there are always other options besides striking someone in the head, noting that the officer outweighed the teen by more than 100 pounds.

Roundtree said the decision to fire McDuffie was the right one.

“We firmly stand by our de­ci­sion,” he said in response to McDuffie’s claims. “Our decision was upheld by the review board, so we have no plans to reconsider.”

Since his firing, the Mc­Duf­fies have struggled financially as he looks for a job and works on his legal case. The loss of income has forced the family to drop their dental insurance and sell their pets and personal firearms. The family has been getting some help from the Augusta War­rior Project, family and the community.

“I’ve had deputies and people in the sheriff’s office pay my power bill,” he said.

Comments (47) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
corgimom
38466
Points
corgimom 01/20/14 - 03:28 pm
8
3
A police officer is allowed,

A police officer is allowed, by law, to use physical force to restrain a suspect that is resisting arrest.

That is not abuse.

I got a black eye two months when I bent down to pick up my glasses, and cracked my eye socket bone on my nightstand. That's all it takes to get a black eye. It's a bruise, nothing more.

But that's ok, that kid will have more encounters with the police. He's not done, his mother lets him roam free at 11 o'clock at night, it's just a matter of time before he gets into more trouble.

Darby
29307
Points
Darby 01/20/14 - 03:40 pm
7
4
"Stupid behavior by a kid never justifies

abusive behavior by an adult."

.
Sometimes it does. Unless one happens to be a knee-jerk liberal.

In which case it's appropriate to insert the word NEVER.

And while we're on the subject of words, any word loosely defined is in danger of losing it's true meaning. In this case, for example; the word abuse.

Not seeing any in this case unless were talking about the abuse of the officer by the capricious manipulation of the system.

CobaltGeorge
175920
Points
CobaltGeorge 01/20/14 - 03:47 pm
9
3
Darn corgi,

your common sense split personality good side made that last comment.

Truth Matters
8084
Points
Truth Matters 01/20/14 - 04:14 pm
4
8
"Sometimes it does. Unless

"Sometimes it does. Unless one happens to be a knee-jerk liberal"

I didn't think the debate was about liberalism vs.______(whatever), but I suppose for some nothing escapes politics.

louiemcman
66
Points
louiemcman 01/20/14 - 04:45 pm
9
2
That's it, the next time a

That's it, the next time a cop tells me to freeze, I'm going to run until caught, wiggle around a bit until one of them hits me up along side my head, kick back and wait for my $50K.

myfather15
56766
Points
myfather15 01/20/14 - 05:23 pm
9
2
Excellent, common sense

Excellent, common sense comments from Corgimom!! See, I don't always disagree with you!! You've made many comments I agree with and many I don't. It's all good!

myfather15
56766
Points
myfather15 01/20/14 - 05:25 pm
8
2
louiemcman

I'm with you! I'm a Deputy and I still would take a thump for $50,000.00!! Heck, I would take an all out, full grown man butt whoppin for $50,000.00!!!

corgimom
38466
Points
corgimom 01/20/14 - 05:44 pm
10
2
If it had been a white kid

If it had been a white kid that he chased and hit with the flashlight, nothing would've happened to the officer.

But if that kid was so sickly, with asthma and epilepsy, why was he roaming the neighborhood at 11 pm?

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 01/20/14 - 07:40 pm
7
1
Income inequality for all.
Unpublished

The whole point, this is from the Federal level all the way down, is that we must let some rob at will to make amends for income inequality. Thank Obama for that one too. Anyone trying to interfere with that will be punished, as was this officer.

Little Lamb
49089
Points
Little Lamb 01/20/14 - 09:15 pm
6
1
Income Inequality

And don't forget "past injustices," oldredneckman96.

Casting_Fool
1175
Points
Casting_Fool 01/20/14 - 09:58 pm
7
1
If I had been that kid, my

If I had been that kid, my father would have beaten the everlovin' h_ll out of my backside, frontside, upside and the soles of my runin' feet when I got home. Then he would have made me apologize to the woman, to the officers, and make any restitution necessary. Asthma or no asthma. Epilepsy or not. I'd have been a dead duck when I got home.

You don't run from the police if they instruct you to stop. You certainly don't run if you have asthma. And for Pete's sake, you don't resist!

An officer doesn't know what a resisting suspect is capable of, so they use controlled force to subdue the suspect. And the suspect is going to get hurt. Sometimes they die. All you have to do is cease resisting.

dichotomy
37494
Points
dichotomy 01/20/14 - 11:01 pm
3
1
Even if McDuffie had gotten a

Even if McDuffie had gotten a little rough with Kyvan, I thought he got a raw deal being fired. Maybe a few days suspension, but that should have been about it. Now I hear about the problem with the recording of the interview. Maybe this was the new sheriff using McDuffie as an example.

And whatever little bump Kyvan got while struggling with the cops was more than deserved. I think the wrong person got punished in this deal and I think it may have been for the benefit of the image of the "new sheriff in town".

I've got no great love for McDuffie because of some prior business dealings. But I think he got a raw deal being fired for a little thump on someone who ran and then physically resisted arrests after running from the scene of a crime in progress.

willie Lee
423
Points
willie Lee 01/21/14 - 05:12 am
1
4
Where is the news!
Unpublished

I don't remember hearing anything about the deputies that were kicking some poor guy "to death". If he was so honorable, why didn't he report this and name names? His situation qualifies my past opinion. You take a guy who can't do anything else in this world, and he will become a cop!

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 01/21/14 - 05:19 am
3
1
thauch12, whether

thauch12, whether braesdad2012 is aka "Brian McDuffie" or not (because we really do not know for sure, now do we), do you have anything to counter what braesdad2012 stated in his/her comments? More rude comments do not apply.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 01/21/14 - 05:25 am
3
1
"I don't remember hearing

"I don't remember hearing anything about the deputies that were kicking some poor guy "to death".

Willie, do you hear about every call Mr. McDuffie went on? Also, he has worked in several departments and stated the incident happened years ago. He never said what department or what county this took place in.

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 01/21/14 - 08:35 am
0
0
of course the sorry azz
Unpublished

of course the sorry azz broodmare of a "mammy" would claim her son was "jess an inn-a-sent lil boy who aint not did nut-tin" and i am sure she has a lawyer and a pending lawsuit against the city meanwhile her son is probably not in school hanging out on some corner selling drugs or looking to break into another house. if she was anykind of REAL MOTHER she would have thanked the officer for going up side the head of her son for what he did and for running when told to stop then continued and finshed what the officer started by going up side his head as she was being taken back to her house. i wonder if her settlement could be given in foo stamps??? and if she is awarded anything the state should move to have her payback all the welfare/foo stamps/medicaid she received

thauch12
7076
Points
thauch12 01/21/14 - 09:24 am
1
1
Um InChris(sic), I'm not sure

Um InChris(sic), I'm not sure there's really much anything I can do to "counter" what he said considering it's pure unprovable conjecture and no facts or sources were presented...

So I'll suffice to say it's highly questionable and leave it at that.

myfather15
56766
Points
myfather15 01/21/14 - 09:32 am
0
1
thauch12

So what you're saying is, that you used unprovable conjecture, when attempting to "out" him, right?

myfather15
56766
Points
myfather15 01/21/14 - 09:37 am
1
1
willie lee

The fact is, and I've stated this many times before; much of what law enforcement officers do in their job, doesn't get reported. I don't know how the media chooses some stories to run with and some to not. But it's also possible that when they were "kicking that person to death", that the person didn't make a complaint about it. Does that make it right? Nope!! But it could be why YOU, didn't hear about it!! I suppose law enforcement should make a policy to report ALL cases of misconduct to Wille Lee!!

But, don't let common sense stand in the way of your hatred for law enforcement!! Those that hate law enforcement with such adament hate, usually do so because law enforcement has stopped them from doing whatever they want to do (i.e. criminal behavior).

thauch12
7076
Points
thauch12 01/21/14 - 10:09 am
1
1
Not quite, myfat

Not quite myfat (sic). While it may have been conjecture, there are definitely facts that support that. I'm not so heartless to bring the guy's kid/family (as his username already suggests) into this discussion but there are verifiable connections one can draw. But people are free to keep their heads firmly planted in the sand if they so wish.

But if you want textbook unverifiable conjecture, here you go: "those that hate law enforcement with such adamant hate..."

Darby
29307
Points
Darby 01/21/14 - 05:46 pm
2
0
"I didn't think the debate was about liberalism

vs.______(whatever), but I suppose for some nothing escapes politics."

.
Next you'll be excusing the kids behavior by saying that either "he never had a chance" or that "the system failed him". Now, THAT'S POLITICS!

Maybe getting smacked for resisting an officer might just make him think next time. Might cause him to exercise a little discretion.

And I have little doubt there WILL BE a next time for that kid.

willie Lee
423
Points
willie Lee 01/21/14 - 06:26 pm
0
1
No, No, No
Unpublished

the cops didn't stop me, I've seen what they do!

myfather15
56766
Points
myfather15 01/22/14 - 07:12 am
0
0
thauch

"But if you want textbook unverifiable conjecture, here you go: "those that hate law enforcement with such adamant hate..."["]

Actually, there are "verifiable connections" that can be drawn to paint this picture, VERY clearly!!

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs