Mom says officers used excessive force at school

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.