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US Black man beaten by Georgia sheriff's deputies during a traffic stop says he 'feared for his life'

03:02  19 september  2020
03:02  19 september  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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A Black man who was pinned to the ground and beaten by sheriff's deputies in the Atlanta area during a traffic stop says he "feared for his life."

a person posing for the camera: Roderick Walker © CNN Roderick Walker

"I just want to let y'all know that I was scared and I feared for my life ... and I just pray and just hope that it don't happen to nobody else," Roderick Walker told reporters Friday during a news conference.

Walker was detained last week by two Clayton County Sheriff's Office deputies during a traffic stop. The officers asked Walker, who was a passenger in the car, for his ID and told him to exit the car, which led to the confrontation, an attorney for Walker had said.

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A social media video of the encounter shows the deputies holding him on the ground and striking him in the face.

Clayton County is a suburban area just south of the city of Atlanta.

One of the deputies has been fired for excessive use of force, and the criminal investigation into the incident was turned over to the Clayton County District Attorney's Office, the sheriff's office said.

Since his encounter with law enforcement, Walker has experienced multiple medical issues, including cognitive problems, headaches and blurry vision, "all over a traffic stop that should never have happened," said Jane Lamberti, one of the attorneys representing Walker.

She said Walker also had a mild traumatic brain injury, a back injury, fractures around both eyes, and "knee injuries that need full physical therapy."

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In a statement last Sunday, Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill said Walker received medical treatment "to include X-rays (no fractures detected) of his head and is being monitored at the jail hospital by a doctor."

Walker and his attorneys held a news conference on Friday, a day after he was released on bond from the Fulton County Jail. He had been transferred there on unrelated charges after being bonded out of the Clayton County Jail earlier this week.

Jail records show Walker was charged with two counts of battery and two counts of obstructing or hindering law enforcement officers.

Attorney Shean Williams said they are calling for the firing of all the officers who were involved in the incident.

"You have an oath of office and a duty as an officer to protect and serve, you can't stand by, even if you are not the one beating the citizen, to allow it to happen," Williams said.

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Deputies asked for his ID before confrontation, attorney says

Walker, his girlfriend and one of his children had returned a rental car on September 11 when they approached a ride-share vehicle and negotiated a ride home, Williams told CNN.

The car was then pulled over for what was described as a taillight violation, according to Williams.

Williams said that deputies demanded that Walker show his ID, but he did not have it with him. The deputies became upset when he asked why they needed the ID, the attorney said. Walker told the deputies he didn't do anything wrong before they told him to exit the car, according to Williams, leading to the officers' use of force.

In the video of the incident, one deputy can be heard yelling, "he bit my hand!" A separate video taken from another angle shows children in a car nearby crying and one can be heard yelling, "Daddy!"

"He wasn't attacking them or biting them, he was trying to survive," Williams said on Friday.

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