Fired Deputy Talks About Investigation Into Alleged Beating
By Mike Miller, WJBF Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter - email
Augusta, GA -
Former Richmond County Deputy Brian McDuffie is speaking out about his termination, saying that the Sheriff's Office "botched" the investigation into his alleged beating of a 15-year-old.
McDuffie says he is filing a lawsuit against the Sheriff's Office for wrongful termination, and he is also accusing the Sheriff's Office of racial discrimination.
He was fired in August for striking 15-year-old Kyvan James in the head with a flashlight. Even though he appealed his termination and lost, McDuffie is hoping a judge will take a look at his firing.
"I feel that it was not handled properly at all. The Sheriff's termination letter, nothing in the termination letter, that I can see thus far, corroborates anything in the evidence at all," he said.
McDuffie says there are several inconsistencies within his termination letter and case files. At one point, the termination letter says that McDuffie along with two other deputies chased after three male subjects in a wooded area, but McDuffie says there were only two.
"That is not what my statement, Deputy Gandy's, Deputy Payne's statements corroborates. We were actually in the house, guns drawn, clearing it when the homeowner stated that the boys were running out the back," he said.
And McDuffie is also asking questions about the internal affairs investigation. This document says that 5 minutes and 17 seconds into McDuffie's interview, a voice recorder stopped recording.
"So my biggest issue is how did the Sheriff review the evidence and incident when my recorded statement isn't to be found?" he said.
Meanwhile, Kenya James, the mother of Kyvan James, says she can understand McDuffie's frustration with the Sheriff's Office investigation, but she says McDuffie should just be happy that he was fired instead of being criminally charged.
"But you can scream to the top of the mountain, did you or did you not hit him? You stated you hit him to me, you stated in your report that you hit him, you can't deny it, it's against policy," Kenya James said.
McDuffie is also saying that he was fired because of his race. He bases that on statements made by local leaders and a statement by Kenya James about diversity in the Sheriff's Office.