Harvey family protests grand jury's decision at courthouse

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George Harvey (WRDW-TV)

George Harvey (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o' clock/ July 7, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga.--The fight continues for an Augusta family who says they want more done about George Harvey's death. The Harvey family protested at the Richmond County Courthouse early Monday morning. The family says they do not agree with a grand jury's decision to not press charges against the deputy involved.

Reports say Deputy Matthew Sanderson tased George Harvey five times for a total of 29 seconds of electric shock. Harvey died soon after the incident.

Chiffon Pope, Harvey's fiance, says the past year has been tough. "It's been hard. I mean, my baby was 3 at the time, and he still asks for his daddy about everyday."

Pope was at the scene at the Chevron on Gordon Highway the day Harvey died. Jerry Harvey, George's brother, spoke with his brother on the phone about a half an hour before the incident. He can't get the day's events out of his head.

"You don't tase a man five times, and bring a death certificate to my home that say homicide, and the officer walk away free," Harvey says.

Deputy Sanderson, the officer who pulled the trigger, is back at work. The grand jury decided there wasn't enough evidence to move forward with a trial against him, but Harvey's family isn't ready to let go.

"We're not just going to take that, and just sit down with it," Harvey says.

Others are coming forward now, voicing their concerns about tasers in light of George Harvey's story.

Juanita Chinn retired from the Richmond County Sheriff's Office after 30 years of service. She says her son was recently tased after a disagreement over a soft drink at a fast food restaurant.

"The whole situation was over, he was on his way out the door. The deputy jumped up, grabbed him, and because he snatched away, he tased him," Chinn says.

She wants Richmond County to know, she thinks they are using tasers too often when they aren't necessary.

The Harvey's are planning to sue the city for damages. Their lawyers have already sent a letter letting the city know they are being sued. Jerry Harvey tells us this will not be the last protest. They have another protest planned in a couple of weeks outside of the Sheriff's Office.

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