Feds to investigate firing of deputy for excessive force

A federal investigation is underway into the firing of former Richmond County Deputy Brian McDuffie.

Dep. Brian C. McDuffie (RCSO)

News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Almost six months after he was fired by the Richmond County Sheriffs Office, Brian McDuffie is still fighting for the job he lost.

"I sent stuff off to Atlanta in December," said the former deputy.

He's talking about a complaint against the sheriffs office, filed with the EEOC.

"They confirmed that the charges were filed and an investigation was underway," he said.

Back in August, McDuffie was fired after allegations of excessive force used on 15-year-old Kyvan James. But it's not the incident that has McDuffie fed up, it's how he says the sheriff and others handled their investigation.

"Looking into the employer, the federal investigation's based on the fact that the investigation of the incident initiated, racially motivated," said McDuffie. "The officers that responded were white, and had it been an African American deputy, that her son could've related to, the incident could've been avoided and I take that as a direct racial slur."

McDuffie says he's contacted Governor Deal's office as well as Senator Isakson Office, advising them of the situation.

"I'm going to expose anything and everything," he said. "I just want the sheriffs office to know that I'm going to be watching."

His message to those in Richmond County, "The county, the constitutes of Richmond County really need to take a hard look into this upcoming election about who they put into this office."

Original report

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW)-A federal investigation is underway into the firing of former Richmond County Deputy Brian McDuffie.

In August of 2012, McDuffie was accused of using excessive force while taking 15-year-old Kyvan James into custody. James says he was hit in the face with a flashlight by the deputy while being arrested. After an internal investigation, the sheriff's office fired McDuffie.

Documents show McDuffie has a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct, and was suspended twice at two different law enforcement agencies before being hired in Richmond County.

He was also suspended for two days in Richmond County for giving a suspect an avenue to escape. According to police reports, he arrested a woman, put her in the back seat of a squad car, and then left the screen open. The woman then drove off in his car, leading deputies on a chase.

In October, the Richmond County Sheriff's Merit Board reviewed McDuffie's firing and decided to uphold the termination.

Meanwhile, James' family sued the city of Augusta for the incident. The city agreed to a $55,000 settlement with the family.

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