Richmond County Sheriff’s Deputies Charlie Walker and Christopher Moores intentionally turned off their body cameras while they roughed up a suspect in Augusta, Georgia, on Feb. 10, 2017.
The officers cursed at the suspect and whispered to each other to turn off their cameras, which was filmed by their cameras, notes WRDW.
Amazingly, Richmond County Sheriff’s Chief Patrick Clayton was most offended by the cursing: “When we saw it especially in regards to the language, it was appalling.”
When asked about the deputies intentionally turning off their cameras while roughing up the suspect, Clayton replied: “That’s why we have policies, and we did take pretty severe disciplinary action against both individuals.”
The “severe disciplinary action” was only “seven days suspension without pay, 12 months’ probation to write an essay and to pay the man back for the bike and phone he lost after they dropped him off miles away from his home,” reports WRDW.
Clayton defended the armed deputies as being ” young” and “inexperienced.”
Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies have a long history of failing to turn on their body cameras. The deputies had 47 violations between 2015 to July 2017. The deputies failed to turn on their body cameras 40 times, and turned the cameras off three times.
Clayton bragged about the failures of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office:
Oh, they are absolutely low when you consider over the years we probably have three or 400-thousand citizen contacts a year.
Clayton claimed his office is changing the deputies’ illegal behavior without firing them:
It’s about changing behavior, and I think what you will find our complaints and incidents like that have gone down and down more, and if we can change a deputy’s behavior without terminating them we don’t want to have to do that unless it’s intentional.