Deputy fired for excessive force on teen can appeal termination

By: Jorge Lopez Email
By: Jorge Lopez Email

News 12 11pm/ Tuesday August 13, 2013

Augusta, GA (WRDW)--- It all started with this 911 call that went like this.

"I couldn't get the door open but from the inside, it seems like somebody's in there," the caller told dispatch

It was a call that set off a chain of events that left a teenager injured. After an internal investigation the Sheriff's Office fired Deputy Brian McDuffie for using excessive force.

"As far as the investigation I think it was fair, I think it was complete, and I'm confident we made the right decision," said the sheriff.

But not everyone agrees. McDuffie and his family say crucial information is missing from the sheriff's termination letter--like the fact he used a plastic and not metal flashlight to subdue the teenager.

"No that wouldn't change anything at all," the sheriff told News12.

Sheriff Roundtree says what the flashlight was made of-- had nothing to do with the firing.

"The fact that an officer admitted the he intentionally struck a subject in the head with an object," he said

We asked the sheriff if the deputies were responding to a burglary or a more urgent "all-tone call" which means a crime in process...

"I don't know, but again that's irrelevant to the investigation. What's relevant to the investigation is that this officer used excessive force everything else in minute points," he told News12.

The sheriff says the investigation into McDuffie is closed, but the former deputy still has an option.

"He has the policy-- which is a county policy and not the Richmond County Sheriff's Office policy--based on the termination that they have a right to appeal to a merit board," said Sheriff Roundtree.

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