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Questions arise on body cam policy during investigation of Richmond County deputy

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 6:02 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A Richmond County deputy is under investigation after body camera footage from his car showed questionable behavior during an arrest on the Fourth of July.

The video is raising questions about not only what led to the arrest, but also why Deputy Caleb Pye’s body camera wasn’t on him.

The suspect, Ricky McNair, was pulled over for disobedience to traffic control devices and fleeing or attempting to elude officers. Body cam video shows officers begin chasing McNair on Calhoun Expressway. The chase ends with his arrest on Washington Road.

During the arrest, you can see several items falling out of McNair pockets. You also see Pye stomping on McNair’s glasses and then flip him the middle finger.

The video is from his body camera, which was in his patrol car.

Pye is currently under investigation, but the question is did he violate policy by not having the camera on his body?

According to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office body-worn; camera policy, “deputies shall activate their BWC to record all calls for service, criminal investigations and any other incident that the deputy believes should be recorded.”

It also lists specific actions that should always be recorded, including vehicle pursuits and traffic stops.

However, the policy does not say the cameras must be worn at all times -- only recording.

In the beginning of the pursuit, we see Pye look at his camera and place it back down. He does not ever put the camera on his body.

Richmond County officials acknowledge the hole in the policy. They say the officer's responsibility is to make sure the camera is recording all important actions.

We do not know whether there is more body cam video to be released.

We do know Pye is still under investigation for his behavior after the arrest, and officials told News 12 that he is still reporting to work for his regular shift.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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