Sheriff Victor Hill of Clayton County, Georgia did what every Sheriff is elected to do, protect and serve. Hill investigated an alleged use of force incident by his deputies, suspended them immediately without pay, called for an internal investigation and before the weekend concluded, rendered a decision.
On Friday September 11, 2020 in Clayton County, Georgia, Roderick Walker was getting a ride when the driver was pulled over for a broken taillight. The deputies asked Mr. Walker, the passenger, for his identification. A back and forth ensued which led to Mr. Walker being aggressively accosted by one deputy in particular.
The video of Roderick Walker’s brutal beating and arrest went viral.
After the internal investigation, Sheriff Hill fired the deputy, turned the investigation over to the Clayton County District Attorney’s office for criminal investigation and ordered Mr. Walker, the victim, released on a signature bond. Sheriff Hill also informed the public that Walker has received medical treatment for his injuries.
Sheriff Victor Hill is a leading example that law enforcement can effectively handle cases involving excessive force without compromising the process.
Former Police Chief, Eddie Driggero of the North Charleston Police Department, in South Carolina, fired then officer Michael Slager within four days, after a viral video showed Slager shooting Walter Scott, a black man in the back five times, while Mr. Scott was running away. Slager was fired, charged, convicted, and sentenced to twenty years in prison. Hills and Driggers actions are a rarity, but likely law enforcement’s saving grace.
The Clayton County Sheriff is highly respected by other members of law enforcement, loved by the citizens of his county and feared by criminals. “I believed Sheriff Hill would do the right thing. He’s a rare leader and law enforcement could use more people like him. The speed and efficiency of this investigation and decision is the example that law enforcement should follow to increase trust in the community”, said national human rights leader Gerald Rose, CEO of New Order.
Sheriff Hill did what citizens expect a leader in law enforcement to do, investigate allegations of excessive force swiftly, make an administrative decision and turn over any possible criminal findings to the proper prosecutorial agency.
This Sheriff has shown America two things – law enforcement can hold their own accountable and justice can be swift, even when it’s within the agency.
The case is now in the hands of Clayton County District Attorney, Tasha M. Mosely.
– Joy Butler @Pigtown410
Born in The Bronx, raised in Atlanta, Joy Butler is the Author of Pigtown Chronicles, a novel steeped in the grimy streets of South Baltimore MD and a Contributing Writer @ ABJ Digital