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Family protests stun-gun death case, demands justice outside courthouse

Monday, July 7, 2014 11:37 AM
Last updated Tuesday, July 8, 2014 10:57 AM
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After more than a year without answers, the family of a man who died after being shocked five times with a stun gun by a Richmond County sheriff’s deputy held a protest at the John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse Monday to demand justice.

The family of George Harvey, who died after being shocked with a Taser last year, protest outside the Richmond County judicial center. No charges were filed against the deputies involved, and the family said justice has not been served.   TRACEY MCMANUS/STAFF
TRACEY MCMANUS/STAFF
The family of George Harvey, who died after being shocked with a Taser last year, protest outside the Richmond County judicial center. No charges were filed against the deputies involved, and the family said justice has not been served.


George Harvey, 39, went into cardiac arrest June 29, 2013, while officers tried to apprehend him at the Chevron Food Mart on Gordon Highway. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigated the case, but charges were never filed in the case.

Deputies Matthew Sanderson, Prizette Presberry and Chadrick Scott were put on administrative leave during the investigation but were also never disciplined internally, Sgt. Monica Belser said.

Harvey’s sister, Alvera Harvey, said the family believes the case was not properly investigated by the district attorney’s office or the sheriff’s office because her brother had drugs in his system at the time of the incident.

That, along with Harvey’s history of arrests related to cocaine, marijuana and controlled substances, makes his case and life seem “unimportant,” she said.

“George was essentially sentenced to die for a crime he did not commit,” Harvey said. “He got the equivalent of the electric chair. The officer got aggravated, and he was going to show my brother who was boss. It is not right.”

Harvey said she wants criminal charges to be filed against Sanderson, who used the stun gun, and for the sheriff’s office to issue a formal apology to the family, which has not been done.

“This has all been so difficult for us, and we haven’t gotten any kind of answers from the sheriff’s office,” said Chiffon Pope, Harvey’s fiance, who witnessed the incident.

While chanting “justice for George,” Pope held a sign that said “Deputy Sanderson, You tased him five times in front of me and our kids! You took my best friend and future husband from me. I will not be silent.”

Other protesters, including some of Harvey’s eight children, waved signs and marched in circles while people filing into the courthouse looked on.

Alvera Harvey said that the family’s fight will not stop there and that civil litigation could follow.

“We kept waiting and waiting to see if something would happen, and it hasn’t,” she said. “Because this happened in the hands of a Richmond County deputy, it’s like our feelings don’t matter and we don’t deserve justice.”

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Pops
12544
Points
Pops 07/07/14 - 12:20 pm
13
3
""Alvera Harvey said the family’s fight will not stop here,

and civil litigation could follow."'

Ah ha.....now we are seeing the real motivation for the "concern" the family
has for the "victim".......they want "justice".....code word for "dollahs".....

Little Lamb
48049
Points
Little Lamb 07/07/14 - 12:40 pm
15
3
Wrong Order

You are supposed to marry first, then have the eight kids.

Little Lamb
48049
Points
Little Lamb 07/07/14 - 12:44 pm
9
3
Crime

The victim’s sister, Alvera Harvey, said, “George was essentially sentenced to die for a crime he did not commit.”

Au contraire. He was sentenced to die by electrocution for the crime of resisting arrest. People need to be careful around those electrical shocking thingys.

corgimom
36879
Points
corgimom 07/07/14 - 07:51 pm
13
3
Using illegal cocaine puts a

Using illegal cocaine puts a tremendous strain on someone's heart, and getting Tazed on top of that, caused him to go into cardiac arrest. He abused drugs and damaged his heart, like all the druggies.

What is the deputy supposed to apologize for, that George Harvey was a drug addict?

This makes me mad. I want to head up a protest in favor of the RCSO that has to put with people like this, who can't face the fact that their criminal family members CAUSED THEIR OWN DEATH and died during the commission of a crime!

What about the feelings of that deputy, who had to Taze that drug addict, and has to live knowing that he died as a result? Who is going to apologize to that deputy, who was not willing to risk his safety for an out of control drug addict who wouldn't follow legal commands?

jimmymac
45888
Points
jimmymac 07/07/14 - 08:15 pm
1
0
TASE
Unpublished

I'm sure Mr. Harvey had ample opportunities to avoid being tased by the officer. His arrest record indicates he's a man who didn't believe laws applied to him. Cops did what they had to do to a violent man resisting arrest and go home safely which they had a right to do. Eight kids, how many mothers? How many were he supporting? Enough said!

rational thought trumps emotion
2625
Points
rational thought trumps emotion 07/07/14 - 08:46 pm
12
2
Really? Are you kidding me....

A year without answers? All of their questions have been answered but they don't like the answers - like most families where the person is known to be on all kinds of drugs, in trouble with the law continually, etc. the family has nothing to do with them until they see a pay day from a potential law suit. families need to do their jobs and stop blaming the government for everything; learn personal responsibility and accountability and practice it.

The Deputies were never disciplined after an internal investigation, GBI investigation, District Attorney Investigation, and a hearing in front of the Grand Jury because THEY DID NOTHING WRONG. A deputy stops to help this man because he is trying to get himself killed in the roadway and/or cause an accident because he is high on multiple drugs and the deputy is attacked for trying to help. Even the 911 calls say "you better get more help up here cause your deputy is getting his butt kicked" but of course no one on the scene steps in to help the deputy or even the 3 deputies that were having trouble bringing the man under control due to all of the drugs in his system.

Every single deputy has been tazed, many have been tazed multiple times but then again, they aren't using multiple illegal drugs and fighting with the police at the time nor have they placed great strains on their heart due to drub abuse and therefore none have had any medical issues due to being tazed.

His life was not "unimportant" to the deputy that tried to save him but again, maybe the family should have taken real actions beforehand vs. blaming others afterwards...if you live this life, it usually reaches this outcome one way or another. Seems like some of the concerned family members on the scene would have solved the problem without having to rely on the police being called to begin with.

The county and deputy should counter-sue the attorney for filing a frivolous law suit and for defamation.

just an opinion
2840
Points
just an opinion 07/07/14 - 09:07 pm
12
2
No check for you!

Your brother was a major coke head, a drain on society and is responsible for his death. No ones fault but his own.

csraguy
2369
Points
csraguy 07/07/14 - 09:43 pm
12
2
The real victim is the Deputy

The real victim is the Deputy in cases like this. He went to work and was forced to take action and then forced to defend himself because unlike others deputies can't just walk away from a situation, they MUST take action and resolve the problem.

Anyone who has been shocked with a taser knows that if you were being combative prior to being shocked you should do as instructed from that moment on. This person fought off 3 deputies and a taser and never complied with the lawful commands of the police; most likely because off all of the drugs in his system.

No one deserves to die and no deputy ever intends for that to happen but he has limited tools/choices between fighting, taser, ASP baton or duty weapon. Mr. Harvey could have chosen not to be a career criminal, not to abuse drugs and do harm to his system and on this day he could have chosen to listen to the requests of the deputy. The choices he made in his life and on this day is what lead to this outcome and no one is to blame but Mr. Harvey himself.

dichotomy
36355
Points
dichotomy 07/07/14 - 09:55 pm
9
2
Do you reckon his family paid

Do you reckon his family paid him this much attention when he was alive and stoking up on cocaine and meth? Well, he had 8 kids....I guess SOMEBODY was paying him some attention.

Tryme
68
Points
Tryme 07/07/14 - 10:06 pm
8
2
Liar, thief, cheat, drunk and worst SNITCH!

Look up his criminal record! Nothing but DUI, Battery, theft, false name to police, and drug offenses. And when "probation" and "trafficking" show up in the same case you know he was a two faced punk rat SNITCH! That police officer did absolutely positively nothing wrong and the snitches family needs to move along with their little signs!

JRC2024
10001
Points
JRC2024 07/07/14 - 10:47 pm
9
0
Do I feel sad for the guy.

Do I feel sad for the guy. Somewhat because of the life choices Mr. Harvey made. Do I think the officers did wrong-Absolutely not. Do I think the family deserves any money from Richmond County--NO NO NO. Go home Ms. Harvey and take care of the 8 kids you have and get busy at meaningful work instead of wasting time on the courthouse steps. The taxpayers OWE YOU NOTHING.

specsta
6776
Points
specsta 07/07/14 - 11:10 pm
4
11
Who Can You Trust?

It's interesting how some people feel they have the right to determine the value of another human being's life.

If someone uses illegal drugs and commits petty crimes, are they deserving of death from an encounter with the police? Is a "soccer mom" who had too many martinis at lunch and becomes combative with police after a traffic stop, worthy of death from her actions? Is an adolescent walking down the street carrying a toy gun to his neighbor's house worthy of being shot and killed because he had earphones on and didn't hear the officer command him to drop his weapon?

Any citizen can die just from a simple encounter with the police. They can hold MBA's and Doctorate's degrees - or they can have a GED and work at McDonald's. They can be a volunteer in the community - or be a young teen simply standing on the sidewalk. A police bullet or lethal TAZER shock couldn't care less.

People have this notion that only crooks and criminals die from police encounters. Tell that to the family of the baby that had a hole torn in his chest in Atlanta from a SWAT team raid. Tell that to the homeless man in Fullerton, California who was beaten to death by police while he was sitting on the ground doing nothing. And most recently, tell that to the homeless man whose crime of "illegal camping" was judged and executed with three bullets in his back.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/20/us/albuquerque-police-investigation/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Kelly_Thomas

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2677972/Toddler-disfigured-polic...

Many people won't even call the police when a petty crime occurs. Because that visit might end in a lethal encounter where the citizen who was asking for help winds up dead.

The lack of accountability for these incidents is so appalling that a news editor launched a website to track these deadly encounters.

http://www.fatalencounters.org/

Police across the US kill citizens and are usually never prosecuted and judged for these incidents.

Anyone with any kind of sense will try and limit any encounters with the police.

geecheeriverman
3817
Points
geecheeriverman 07/08/14 - 04:10 am
9
2
specsta

Maybe you can represent this "family" in court. All they are after is the almighty dollar. I wonder how many of the sign carriers had to take a day off from work. This type of people only protest when it is a cop VS black. Where are the protest when it is a black VS cop?

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 07/08/14 - 05:00 am
11
2
(specsta) "Anyone with any

(specsta) "Anyone with any kind of sense will try and limit any encounters with the police."

You are absolutely right! Any person with any kind of sense will obey the law, respect law enforcement, and they will have limited encounters with the police.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 07/08/14 - 05:12 am
6
2
From your website specsta:

From your website specsta: "This site will remain as impartial and data-driven as possible, directed by the theory that Americans should be able to answer some simple questions about the use of deadly force by police: How many people are killed in interactions with law enforcement in the United States of America? Are they increasing? What do those people look like? Can policies and training be modified to have fewer officer-involved shootings and improve outcomes and safety for both officers and citizens?

Maybe a more important impartial question should be asked, not just how many but when an individual is killed in interaction with law enforcement, what are the circumstances? Were they innocent bystander or involved in illegal activity or putting law enforcement in harms way.

corgimom
36879
Points
corgimom 07/08/14 - 05:53 am
7
3
Specsta, assaulting a deputy

Specsta, assaulting a deputy is a petty crime? DUI is a petty crime?

You want to take up for drug addicts and criminals, go ahead. Not me.

If he had been at HOME, parenting his EIGHT CHILDREN, and leading a decent, productive life, he would be alive today.

KSL
140601
Points
KSL 07/08/14 - 07:02 am
6
3
I doubt he could have

I doubt he could have afforded 8 kids without giverment help.

It's beyond time to make the sperm donors accountable, and the willing recipients.

itsanotherday1
47070
Points
itsanotherday1 07/08/14 - 07:58 am
4
2
So, the way the family sees

So, the way the family sees it, the deputy should have just walked away? Shouldn't it just be common sense that when a subject is being brought under control, force will continue to escalate until said subject complies?

corgimom
36879
Points
corgimom 07/08/14 - 09:06 am
2
3
His sister said that he was

His sister said that he was 5'3" and weighed over 200 lbs.

So you have a 39 year old man, very obese, who has abused drugs for years, who drank, was under the influence of drugs, and got Tazed- and the family thinks it's the deputy's fault that he had a heart attack?

And he had been arrested 14 times before, it's not like he didn't know how the police or Tasers work.

What a bunch of bs. I hope that RC doesn't give them a dime.

But here's what I'm wondering- was he on parole or probation? Because if he was, the police had the right to detain him just on sight.

corgimom
36879
Points
corgimom 07/08/14 - 09:17 am
2
3
"Many people won't even call

"Many people won't even call the police when a petty crime occurs. Because that visit might end in a lethal encounter where the citizen who was asking for help winds up dead."

HUH???

Specsta, how do you know that?

They don't call the police because they, or a family member, is well-known to the police and know that somebody is likely to have an outstanding warrant and wind up in jail. Lots of them are on parole and probation and don't want a violation.

itsanotherday1
47070
Points
itsanotherday1 07/08/14 - 09:25 am
3
1
More of the same cockeyed reasoning:

HE SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN HIS SQUAD CAR: Cop-Killer’s Family Blames The Police For Officer’s Death

http://tinyurl.com/n984cqx

corgimom
36879
Points
corgimom 07/08/14 - 09:28 am
3
3
" And most recently, tell

" And most recently, tell that to the homeless man whose crime of "illegal camping" was judged and executed with three bullets in his back."

Illegal camping is very serious out in the West, specsta, because of the extreme fire danger. It's not like it is in Augusta. And he wasn't shot because of camping; he was shot because he was holding weapons that he would not put down, and after 5 hours of negotiations, still wouldn't surrender, and turned away from the police officers.

Tell the whole truth, and stop saying silly things like he was killed for illegal camping. Because he wasn't.

If I have an encounter with an officer, and I have two knives in my hand and won't put them down, and then turn away from them, yes, I am going to get shot. That is true of me and everybody else, and it is naïve and foolish to think otherwise.

They released a K-9, and the homeless man wouldn't put down his knives. Should he have been able to stab the K-9, which is considered the same as stabbing an officer?

You weren't there for the prior 5 hours. Had he threatened suicide or to kill an officer?

It was a justified shooting, specsta. And you may not like that, but it's true. And that's what happens when you try to judge things based on a 1 minute video.

corgimom
36879
Points
corgimom 07/08/14 - 09:34 am
3
2
This is James Boyd, Specsta.

"ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —The man who died in a recent officer-involved shooting in the foothills had a lengthy criminal history, according to police.

James Boyd, 38, sometimes used box cutters, knives and his fists to attack people, including officers, according police reports. He often said he was on a secret mission and on assignment for former President Gerald Ford.

Boyd has also been in and out of the Bernalillo and Dona Ana county jails.

In 2009 he got into a fight outside a homeless shelter in downtown Albuquerque and cut a man in the face with a box cutter.

In 2010 staffers at the downtown library called police and said Boyd was a frequent visitor that was scaring people at the library. They said he told people he is God. When police tried to arrest him, he punched an officer in the face, breaking her nose.

Police found a knife and razor blade in his waistband during the 2010 incident.

That same year police arrested Boyd after he tried to get on a military base. He said he was on a mission from Ford and that the former president was the only one who knew his true identity.

Boyd’s criminal history includes more than those three incidents.

In addition to spending time at the Metropolitan Detention Center, police reports indicate he had been transported to University of New Mexico’s mental health facility as well."

Sheds a little different light on things, doesn't it, Specsta?

janderson1945
1903
Points
janderson1945 07/08/14 - 10:34 am
2
1
Majority of lethal encounters with police

The Majority of all lethal encounters with police are repeat offenders. The police are under attack daily and those with a thought process like spectsa make their jobs far harder and contributes to the great decline in persons even going into the field of law enforcement contributing to the shortages all across the country.

People in generall don't respect authority but criminals despise it and repeat offenders have seen how the system works (its a joke) and therefore know there are little consequences for their actions.

If these repeat offenders, especially violent criminals were behind bars where they belong then the police would not have to continually deal with them in this manner.

As for the RCSO, keep up the great work as you can see most of us on here and in the community appreciate all that you do.

Marinerman1
5320
Points
Marinerman1 07/08/14 - 11:17 am
3
0
Ultimately We Will Pay the Family

The taxpayers will ultimately feed and clothe his EIGHT illegitimate kids. I say that is payment enough. Mr. Harvey was a ticking time-bomb -- short, obese, and cocaine. A cardiac arrest, waiting to happen. My only question is, was he ever tased after he was cuffed ? Since the GBI did not find anything wrong, I'm guessing not.

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