RCSO: Use of force in viral Broad St. arrest video appears to be justified

“We could have done better. We’re going to do better,” Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton told FOX 54 about how deputies handled the most recent arrests

RCSO: Use of force in viral Broad St. arrest video appears to be justified

AUGUSTA, GA. (WFXG) - A father and daughter, handcuffed on the ground in front of a Broad Street pub. Multiple cell phone cameras capture anger during the arrests.

“He was already restrained. Why you going to put yourself, and have your hand on top of the man’s head and tell him to shut up and have your fist balled up at him?," asked Shabazz Ali, a community activist.

Hundreds of people asking these questions and more on social media; questioning the deputy’s use of force. The sheriff’s office said that incident shows only a small portion of the aftermath of a large fight downtown. The suspect told deputies it sparked after an unidentified man punched her in the face.

“With those kind of establishments there and the time of evening, you might imagine people had been drinking. Heavily,” said Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton.

Investigators said deputies told the woman to go to her car many times. Instead, investigators said, she got aggressive and even tried to attack an undercover narcotics officer.

Her father was taken into custody after trying to intervene, according to investigators.

“Preliminarily, we have looked at a good portion of all the body cameras’ footage - and there’s always things that we can do better - but it does appear that what force was used was justified," Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton said.

An internal investigation into the officers’ use of force and language is going on right now. The sheriff’s office told FOX 54 responsibility is to keep downtown safe for residents and business owners and try to reduce chaos like this fight as quickly as possible.

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