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GBI alum sheds light on clash with cops that left man on life support

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 11:20 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2021 at 9:22 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Two local parents are preparing to say goodbye to their son and take him off life support after a clash with deputies during a traffic stop earlier this week.

Jermaine Jones Jr. ran away during that traffic stop after deputies say they found a gun and a crack pipe in the sport utility vehicle. Officers’ capture of Jones involved the use of a taser and what deputies described in their incident report as a “brief struggle.”

Now the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case.

We spoke with a former GBI agent who says investigations like these are a long process. The GBI’s role is trying to answer the question why – they know where, when and what, but why did the suspect run? Why did the officer use a taser?

And that’s a difficult task. They are sifting through body cam video, interviewing all officers and witnesses. They say in an intense situation like this, everyone’s perception and story is different.

The incident report includes three paragraphs from investigator Christopher Brown’s perspective on the scene.

He describes the moments leading up to Jones’ arrest, with the traffic violation being a tinted case covering the license plate.

Then backup arrives with a K9. The K9, still outside the SUV, smells drugs. So, everyone gets out of the SUV.

While searching, deputies find a gun and crack pipe in the car.

At this point, Jones starts running and the report says investigator Richard Russel ”Deployed his taser striking Jones in the back causing him to fall on the ground.” The report says he’s taken into custody after a brief struggle.

But his father who was in the SUV paints a different picture of the struggle.

Jermaine M. Jones Jr. was in critical condition after an encounter with Richmond County deputies.
Jermaine M. Jones Jr. was in critical condition after an encounter with Richmond County deputies.(WRDW)

Doug Parker, former GBI agent, says, “It has to be what is called the totality of the circumstances. The incident report is definitely not complete. You just have a very two or three paragraphs, basically what happened, but there’s a lot more to it than just the incident report.”

Jones father, Jermaine Jones Sr., said: “They were on him beating him and I got up and said, ‘Hey, that’s my child. What are y’all doing?”

And that’s not the family’s only question. They want to know why Jones Jr. did not get medical attention sooner. His medical records show he has swelling, bruising, and significant hemorrhaging in multiple parts of his brain.

READ THE INCIDENT REPORT:

“How he going to fall that hard from a tase? I was right there and saw the whole thing. My son was talking to me and everything,” Jones Sr. said.

Parker said: “It’ll take a week or more to gather that information and to report, get it approved, and then send it on to the district attorney for their view. I mean, ultimately that’s where the decision is gonna come come from.”

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said the officers involved are not on administrative leave and “we will continue to evaluate this as the investigation develops.”

This investigation is just beginning while the family says they’re getting ready to take Jones Jr. off life support and say goodbye.

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