How is the George Floyd case affecting police policies in the CSRA?

Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 6:05 PM EDT
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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Many wondered how the local George Floyd protests affect police, and whether they have opened conversations on new policing strategies here locally. Deputies are saying they are working daily to give the policing that is "deserved and demanded."

Floyd’s final words of "I can't breathe" in Minneapolis were echoed here in the two-state.

“We try to do a good job to give the public the service that they deserve, that they demand," Richmond County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton said.


Sheriff's deputies practically led local protests hoping the community would know they, too, are against police brutality.

"That particular situation, it was indefensible," Clayton said.

We examined all CSRA sheriff's agencies’ policies. None authorize an officer to continue force once the arrest is made.

“When you see somebody is not resisting anymore, you have to basically -- you shift from getting them under control to making sure they are safe," Clayton said. "That should be your No. 1 priority after you get them in custody.”

Chief Deputy Clayton says he knows some of their own arrests have been previously called into question, too.

“I think we’ve had a record of responding promptly to situations where the deputies have been in error," Clayton said.

“But if we have a deputy that’s not using force according to policy in such ways, I can assure you they won’t be here. They will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office does have an advisory board where people can review and offer recommendations on policy-making and advice for community relations. Clayton encourages more neighbors to join.

“If you go out looking for trouble, you can find it and we’re not out looking for trouble," Clayton said. "We want to help. We wanna help people.”

Protesters are asking for racial equality in law enforcement treatment of cases, the end to police brutality across the nation, and an understanding of systemic oppression -- all of which the Richmond County Sheriff's Office says it is dedicated to doing.

“We are going to make mistakes, I will tell you that first of all," Clayton said. "But we have a proven track record of dealing with those situations.”

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