Mom says officers used excessive force at school

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Two Richmond County school public safety officers are under investigation after being accused of using excessive force against a student in their custody.

Charmaine Wilkerson said the officers used "brutality" in arresting her 18-year-old son at the Jan. 26 Josey High School basketball game, where he was on a date with his girlfriend.

Public Safety Director Julia Porter-Stein confirmed the internal affairs investigation but declined to comment further. Through his secretary, Superintendent Dana Bedden also declined to comment because the investigation is ongoing.

David Wilkerson had parked in a handicapped spot but felt guilty after going into the game, his mother said.

He left the game to move his car, but she said that when he tried to re-enter, an officer prevented him from doing so and an argument ensued. The officer then called for backup.

"While in their custody, they beat him up while handcuffed," Mrs. Wilkerson said.

Her son, who was charged with disorderly conduct, suffered injuries that included burns, bruises and an injured shoulder, she said.

She was unsure what caused the burns but said he required medical care for his injuries.

She also accused the officers of using abusive language, including racial slurs, to humiliate David and of taking $10 from him when patting him down for drugs.

Earlier this school year, an internal investigation found that an officer at the Academy of Richmond County acted inappropriately and used excessive force with a female student who had been handcuffed.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (138)

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CMonster
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CMonster 02/06/08 - 09:15 am
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I think that they probably

I think that they probably did use to much force. PEOPLE just because this is America, doesn't mean that everyone really is treated equally!!!!!!! If the boy/man went out there to move his car, then they should've let him back in. That's bull**** and ya'll know it. You give a jack*** some power and he wants to become King Kong. Well they have every right to sue and this should be investigated. I'm very interested in what you all excuses are for the excessive force used on the girl? Ain't nobody bashing the f**king police, they bashing themselves. GET A F**KING LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

phoenixrising1
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phoenixrising1 02/06/08 - 09:16 am
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Josey/Laney, Duh, what do you

Josey/Laney, Duh, what do you expect from students attending those two schools.

Phish
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Phish 02/06/08 - 09:18 am
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wasn,t there a article in the

wasn,t there a article in the AC yesterday about a funeral for stereotypes and pre conceived notions? I think it's number six "Thou shalt not bear false witness"

AugustaVoter
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AugustaVoter 02/06/08 - 09:19 am
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One other thing about this

One other thing about this story is where the mother is claiming her son was being searched for drugs. Um hello, they were searching your son, who was under arrest for disorderly conduct, for weapons, drugs or anything else that may have been on his person. That is called normal procedure. Every cops should be doing the same thing. And if he was putting up such a fight be thankful the officers didn't charge him with felony obstruction of officers. Hey mom here is a question. If your son was so innocent, how did he draw attention to himself in the first place? Cops don't just pick a person out of the crowd and randomly harass them. You have to draw attention to yourself first. And one last thing, I don't think an 18 year old would take momma on his date with him, so you most likely were not there and have no clue what you are complaining about.

reader@work
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reader@work 02/06/08 - 09:21 am
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We will never know exactly

We will never know exactly what happened. Even after the investigation, we'll never know. So don't judge neither of the parties involved, the police or the young man. Can you cast the first stone?

CMonster
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CMonster 02/06/08 - 09:21 am
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How do you know he was a

How do you know he was a "THUG," you assume because of he say she say s***, shut the f*** up. Ya'll some dumba** ppl.

PlayaFace
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PlayaFace 02/06/08 - 09:21 am
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so i dont know the whole

so i dont know the whole story nor was i there.. but i dont think the kid should have burn marks from being thrown to the ground and handcuffed... thats a little odd to me

AugustaVoter
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AugustaVoter 02/06/08 - 09:21 am
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CMonster you show your

CMonster you show your respect for the "f-ing" police in your comment. Your ignorance shows.

ripjones
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ripjones 02/06/08 - 09:24 am
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Revelation187 and

Revelation187 and Augusta_Voter, you both took the words right out of my mouth. Unfortunately, the reporter doesn't have as much background information as he or she would probably like. I'm sure the reporter did not know about the tats, and other "information". I for one, will be very anxious to see what unfolds. I think his girlfriend may have made a poor choice.

AugustaVoter
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AugustaVoter 02/06/08 - 09:26 am
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CMonster, I hope you never

CMonster, I hope you never need the cops when someone shoots you, steals from you or when you crash your car. Maybe you will find another way to resolve your legal matters. Then we can read about you on here.

CMonster
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CMonster 02/06/08 - 09:31 am
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Augusta Voter bite your

Augusta Voter bite your balls. I have a bachellors degree, so why don't you tell me who the f*** is ignorant. Please, forgive me, just because the police have you all fooled doesn't mean they have me fooled. Yea, there are good cops and then again you have bad ones. explain the burn marks [filtered word]hole. opps I'm sorry, Augusta voter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dani
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dani 02/06/08 - 09:37 am
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The key words are "mom says",

The key words are "mom says", we haven't heard from anyone else. I doubt that she was a witness. Burns? Could be old burns or none at all. I would imagine cuffs could cause burns and scrapes if he was resisting arrest.

CMonster
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CMonster 02/06/08 - 09:37 am
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Oh, I get it now Augusta

Oh, I get it now Augusta Voter is a suck up. It's quite funny you say that, because my fiancee was shot and when I called the police to report the shooting, they took their own personal time. So i'm guessing they won't be there when I'm in need of assistant, again!!! I'm not going to spend my valuable time arguing with you. There are other ppl in this world who disagree with me, oh well, get over it. GET A F**KING LIFE!!!!!!!!

AugustaVoter
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AugustaVoter 02/06/08 - 09:38 am
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I don't care if you have a BA

I don't care if you have a BA in profanity. I don't get into a battle of wits with an unarmed person. Do we know what he was doing prior to the confrontation? Nope. Just listening to what momma is saying.

grayv
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grayv 02/06/08 - 09:44 am
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i am a 16 year old female and

i am a 16 year old female and this happened to me less than a year ago and i know that officers like to use extensive force just to intimidate people...the reacial slurs were uncalled for and the burns and bruise were also...so whatever happens to the officers will be justification but that still doesnt help the other young people this will happen to...we just have to kearn to be careful where we go, what we do, and who we do it with!!!

CMonster
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CMonster 02/06/08 - 09:44 am
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Have a nice day Augusta Voter

Have a nice day Augusta Voter because you're entitled to your opinion as I am to mine.

SilentJ
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SilentJ 02/06/08 - 09:51 am
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I think CMonster is bipolar

I think CMonster is bipolar

grayv
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grayv 02/06/08 - 09:54 am
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and by the way CMonster and

and by the way CMonster and Augusta Voter...your argument is not helping any and the use of profanity is so unacceptable...if u have a BA then you should be more mature than that...the both of u have good points but the way u carry on a conversation is not needed...there are better ways to handle situations other than what u r doing

moneyman1035
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moneyman1035 02/06/08 - 10:15 am
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What happen to innocent unti

What happen to innocent unti proven guilty, whats the deal with a no re entry rule? and who hasn't parked in a handicap space at least once? I mean come on people do you want to live in a police state? and just because josey/ butler doesn't mean that the boe public safety officers have the right to bully these children, and you know if I hadn't done anything wrong and they would not let me back in I would have prob gotten aggrivated just as he did... but like a few smart people said lets wait for the rest of the story i think as a society, the adults are wanting to blame everything on the youth of today, well the reason the youth of today are the way they are, is a 100% reflection on how you adults raised them and how your parents raised you. stop blaming the children and start blaming yourself, and there is never a reason to use racial slurs of curse someone while being arrested. I think some police officers have bad attitudes...i had a flat tire on broad street and the officer came up and said we needed to get out of the street i am 40 yr man and i have a flat tire excuse me? tires go flat and i wasnt doing anything but trying to put my spare on.. what was i doing wrong?

kdrummer
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kdrummer 02/06/08 - 10:18 am
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There isnt enough info here.

There isnt enough info here. I bet a court case here would be tough for a jury. The whole thing could be that both parties involved were wrong. Who knows. If racial comments were used that is wrong. I havent seen any race be perfect all the time. Too bad that was even a point. As far as being 18...most of us felt invincible at that age, that could have been a factor. Not all cops are perfect, but not all kids are. Not all kids cause trouble, not all cops are bad cops. Why are we all getting upset? We have so many other things going on. Why don't we try to make a better place to live in than tearing each other down? Ya'll got good things about you, show that.

Daddyrabbit
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Daddyrabbit 02/06/08 - 10:21 am
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Cmonster, you are right about

Cmonster, you are right about one thing. Everyone has a right to their opinion, BUT having a BS from any place does not automatically make you intelligent or informed. Some people with advance degrees are dumb as a hockey puck.

crynl4life
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crynl4life 02/06/08 - 10:22 am
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phoenixrising, what do you

phoenixrising, what do you mean "Josey/Laney Duh, what do you expect from the students at those two schools" that's the problem we don't expect much from these students except the worse, as a future educator I am very diturbed by your comments. These students attend these schools because this is the area in which they live all those children are not bad and selling drugs some of these students want to do more with their life lets give them an opportunity I will say parents police officers will not have an opportunity to mishandle your children if you train them correctly when their young. The Bible says train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. It takes some work and time on your end when your child is young.

DGreene1
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DGreene1 02/06/08 - 10:29 am
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It amazes me how you people

It amazes me how you people feel that cops should have no restraint, and that they are justified to excercise excessive force depending on who they are excercsing it on. They are trained to handle these situations without having to lose their composure, as they so easily do with minorities. I've seen officers on the show cops, get spit on, cursed out, tickets tore up in their faces, fought with, yet they seem to have incredible composure as long as that comes from certain people. If you hear racial undertones in my comment, then your hearing is good. They can control themselves when they want to. I am willing to wait on the full story as well, but it is hard to see where they would be justified to use excessive force to execute a no reentry rule at a b-ball game. To phoenixrising, I am a Laney graduate, and want you to know, you could've save your idiotic post. To you others that assume the kid is a thug, or punk as some of you have put it, thanks for giving him a chance to be guilty before proven innocent. "We" love how you all like to flip the script on that when it comes to minorities. You are so fair, and I am so proud of you. Sarcasm now off. Peace to you haters.

Augusta resident
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Augusta resident 02/06/08 - 10:31 am
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Every day a cop goes home is

Every day a cop goes home is a good day. Keep your heads up.

WHATDIDIDO
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WHATDIDIDO 02/06/08 - 10:41 am
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Carrying a badge does not

Carrying a badge does not give anyone the right to abuse their authority. The assumption that because this person was attending a game at Josey makes him a thug is just plain stupid. Once a person is handcuffed I doubt that he is that hard to control. Like one poster said ' If this child was yours, you would be singing a different tune." I will go one step more and say that I am willing to bet that had this person been a student at Augusta Prep or Evans, a lot of you would be saying something else.

str8truth
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str8truth 02/06/08 - 10:51 am
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Well, at Evans, the Sheriffs

Well, at Evans, the Sheriffs Office would handle it....and the student would have had additional charges!

thistownisunbelievable
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thistownisunbelievable 02/06/08 - 10:57 am
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You are right that carrying a

You are right that carrying a badge doesn't give you the right to abuse your authority, but it does give you right to use that authority. The law gives you a recourse if the police abuse their power, and it doesn't involve arguing and fighting with police at a basketball game. Even if the student was totally in the right, he was unwise to mix it up with a badge. And if he was an Evans or Prep student, I'd be saying the same thing.

jack
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jack 02/06/08 - 11:23 am
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I'll reserve my coments until

I'll reserve my coments until all the facts are known. However, I do not belileve that the majority of law enforcement officers will abue some one but will use necessary force when needed. I am prone to lean toward the officers in this case, however, than some hot headed 18 year old man.

KingJames
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KingJames 02/06/08 - 11:50 am
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There are too many comments

There are too many comments for me to read them all, so I'll just say what's on my mind. The kid was wrong for parking in a handicap space. Who knows why he really went back to the car, but the force that was used when he tried to reenter the game could have been excessive. One kid trying to fight two cops doesn't sound right to me. But then again, I know how kids can be when they are trying to prove they can hold their own. It's hard to tell who will win this case. When someone is handcuffed, their threat level should be minimal. If the kid sustained bruises, burns, and was robbed of $10 while in handcuffs, then the officers were being excessive and had become robbers themselves. They should have just told the kid to buy another ticket. The kid shouldn't have argued back, but most kids do rebut if they feel they are being wronged. Hindsight is 20/20, so all parties involved share some blame in this case.

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