SANDERSVILLE, G.A. (WJBF) – A few more days leading up to the trial of three Washington County deputies accused of killing a man. Saturday afternoon, local people from the Washington County area and activists from across the state of Georgia gathered at the community center there, demanding a fair trial.
“Mr. Martin was murdered and we’re out here again fighting for justice,” said Gerald Rhodes, President of the National New Order Human Rights Organization.
It’s been four years since the death of 58-year-old Eurie Martin. Martin died after allegedly being tased to death by 3 Washington County Deputies. Official reports confirm he died of asphyxiation.
“They need to be locked up, a man is just begging for some water, and he loses his life? It’s ridiculous,” said Rhodes.
“It was disgusting how they tortured that man because he wanted to put water in his body,” said Leonard Jordan, a member of the organization.
The events leading up to his death are part of the speculation surrounding the video of the incident. Martin was surrounded by deputies Rhett Scott, Michael Howell and Sergeant Henry Copeland. Two of those deputies tased him on the side of the road. Now all three of them will stand trial.
I would not be surprised if these officers walk, but I would be hurt if they get away with it,” said Rhodes.
Rhodes says the judge who initially let the officers walk, back in 2017, is now the same judge who will decide their fate.
“Why, Why? Now, who’s to say if these officers are convicted, is he going to do a stiff penalty? I”m concerned about that,” he said.
I’m concerned about why that judge didn’t recuse himself the prosecutor asked for him to do that because he is unfit to preside over that case,” Jordan.
This is the second time, members of the New Order Human Rights Organization have come to Washington County demanding those deputies be held accountable for Martin’s death. His family sat front row at the conference Saturday, still mourning his loss and seeking justice.
“This is a very high profile case this family has been grieving for many years, but I’m letting them know as a national human rights organization that they’re not alone and justice has got to be served,” said Rhodes.
Trial begins Monday in Washington County Superior Court at 9-am.