by Robin Kemp
UPDATE 5:45 p.m.: WSB reports that Walker has been released on a signature bond in Fulton County and will be required to wear an ankle monitor.
The Clayton County Sheriffs Office has released initial incident reports and termination papers in the Sept. 11 arrest of Roderick Walker, 26, of Atlanta during a traffic stop in College Park. The documents were released after the Clayton Crescent filed an Open Records Request.
Those documents name Brandon Myersas the deputy who Sheriff Victor Hill fired on Sept. 13 after an internal investigation. Myers was terminated for excessive use of force and neglect of duty. Two other deputies involved in the arrest have resigned.
A police report names Barney Seymour Washington, 50, of Goose Creek, S.C. as the driver of the SUV in which Walker, Juanita Laneshia Davis, 24, of Fairburn and two children were riding. All three adults were cited: Walker for seat belt violation, two counts of felony obstruction, and two counts of battery; Davis for not using child seat belt restraints; and Washington for not having brake lights.
Deputy Dakota Riddick wrote that he was on patrol at Godby Road and Phoenix Boulevard when he saw Washington’s gray Jeep Grand Cherokee with a Georgia temporary tag.
According to Riddick, the passenger side brake light was out and Walker was in the front seat without a seatbelt on. He wrote that he asked Walker for his ID “due to him violating Georgia Seat Belt law.”
According to the report, “Walker refused to identify himself. Due to Walker refusing to identify himself I had him exit the vehicle where I was going to detain him until I identified him. As I attempted to place him into handcuffs he took flight on foot running into the middle of Phoenix Blvd. Myself along with Deputy Brandon Myers grabbed Walker and placed him on the ground. Once on the ground Walker started to fight with us, Walker hit me in the face with his elbow causing my nose and lip to bleed, Walker hit Myers in the face causing his nose to bleed. Walker was able to stand up and take off running again. Myers grabbed Walker and attempted to place him onto the ground again which did not work. I Tased Walker with my department issue Taser, the Taser made positive contact and brought Walker to the ground.
Myself and Deputy Myers grabbed Walker and attempted to place him into handcuffs. Walker continued to fight and resist arrest by kicking, elbowing, head butting and biting. Deputy Myers was bit on his inner thighs multiple times along with what he stated his Genitals. To try and gain compliance during the altercation I and Deputy Myers gave several closed fist and elbow strikes to walker’s upper body. Due to Walker trying to get back up and move around he was struck in the face and head area multiple times. Myself and Deputy Myers attempted to Radio for help multiple times but were not able to get clear traffic out. It wasn’t until Deputy Valentine arrived on scene to help that we were able to control his body and place handcuffs onto Walker behind his back. Once he was placed into handcuffs he continued to resist arrest by kicking, jerking, attempting to head but. He was then forced into the rear of my patrol vehicle where he started to kick the doors and head but the rear cage.”
Riddick said he then called for EMS to check out Walker’s Taser injuries and “bleeding from his nose and upper eye area.” Walker was treated and taken to the Clayton County Jail, “cleared by the Jail Booking Nurse,” and booked.
Walker’s inmate file does not indicate what treatment he received for his injuries. That information would likely be in his jail medical files.
Riddick added, “Walker stated to Deputies on scene that he. has an outstanding warrant for his arrest and that is why he ran and fought. Dispatch confirmed that Walker has an outstanding Warrant for his arrest from Fulton County for Cruelty to Children.”
Riddick resigned on Sept. 14, one day after the internal investigation and six month after he joined CCSO. No reason was given on the paperwork. Riddick apparently had worked for the Thomaston Police Department in March 2018.
CCSO released a signed copy of Myers’ oath, which he took on Nov. 18, 2019. Clayton County civil service employees who are on probation or unclassified have no right to a Civil Service appeal. Major V. Williams, Lt. Blasingame, and Investigator Blasingame were listed as witnesses to the scuffle on Myers’ termination papers.
Myers is a graduate of Crown Point High School in Crown Point, IN. He had worked for the Savannah Police Department from Sept. 18, 2017 to Oct. 3, 2019 and said on his CCSO application that he was “looking for other opportunities.”
“I am a police officer assigned to the patrol unit where I was assigned to a particular beat within my precinct,” Myers wrote on his application. “While on patrol I have worked with many specialized units such as the Crime Suppression Unit, Strategic Investigations Unit, and interviewed for the Gang Unit. I have volunteered in the Violent Crimes Task Force. I have assisted agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and The United States Marshall Service. Also while on patrol I have initiated my own investigations, written multiple search and arrest warrants, created intelligence packets on wanted subjects, subjects in question and criminal activity. I also heavily involved myself in proactive aggressive policing; I’ve created and executed action plans within small groups to apprehend criminal activity. I created a position solely responsible for criminal apprehension in an intelligence focus.” Myers said he earned his Georgia POST certification on Dec. 8, 2017.
Prior to that, Myers said, he worked at the Port Wentworth Fire Department from Jan. 20, 2016 to Sept. 18, 2017, doing “residential and commercial Fire Suppression, building and vehicle rescue/extrication, along with responding to medical calls as a first responder.” He was certified as a Fire Officer I on Nov. 10, 2015.
From Sept. 15, 2015 to Jan. 20, 2016, Myers wrote, “I was in charge of logistics for a national moving company, including moves, personnel and vehicle logistics” for All My Sons Moving and Storage in Bluffton, S.C.
Myers said he had experience in “death investigations, homicides, writing/executing search and arrest warrant, robberies,, proactive traffic, stolen vehicle apprehension, community relations, criminal activity identification, foot pursuits, gang activity, tactical situations, interviews and interrogations and many other aspects of patrol and investigations.”
In addition, he said, “I have taken official and non-official training for gang investigations, criminal apprehension, undercover operations and surveillance, due regard, domestic situations, interviews and interrogations, searching motor vehicles, and other classes.”
Myers described himself as “a great team player, highly motivated, quick-thinking and high tolerance for stress and reacting to stressful situations. I believe I have great leadership skills along with clear and sound tactics along with a tactical mindset. I am able to quickly and effectively take control of a situation. I am objective, fair, and unbiased in my policing. I am extremely aggressive and proactive in my policing abilities. I am versatile in my policing abilities; being able to encompass all aspects of policing.”
Myers said he had never been fired or asked to resign from any previous job.
A third officer present at the scene, Deputy Demetrius Valentine, had previously been sworn on June 21, 2019 and resigned Oct. 20, 2019, then reinstated on July 18 of this year. An Aug. 18 letter of reprimand stated that Valentine had failed to check the oil level in his patrol unit and that the vehicle’s engine had seized up “on Highway 85 Southbound in Coweta County” Aug. 6 as Valentine headed home after work. The car had to be towed back to Clayton County Fleet Maintenance. Valentine was found to have neglected his duty and that “Any further negative actions as such will not be tolerated and shall be handled with serious sanctions.”
Valentine earned a bachelor of science in criminal justice from Georgia Gwinnett College and previously attended West Georgia Technical College. He applied to CCSO on May 9, 2019 from the College Park Police Department in 2019, where his duties were to “Patrol the city to deter crime. I also answered calls when people needed assistance, worked traffic accidents and enforced traffic violations.”
Valentine started at College Park PD in July 2016, was promoted to investigator in Nov. 2017, then moved back to patrol in April 2019 “because the shifts were short.” As an investigator, Valentine wrote, he “Investigate(d) motor vehicle thefts around the city. We also deterred slider crimes from happening at many gas stations. We recovered stolen vehicles and obtained warrants for subjects that were discovered to have committed the crimes. I also worked with special operations doing undercover drug buys and carrying out search warrants.”
Before he became a law enforcement officer, Valentine had worked for Home Depot and worked his way through college building concrete walls and assisting drivers at UPS. Before that, he was a welder with Yamaha Motor Manufacturing in Newnan, where he “ran robots that welded the steering column on various all terrain vehicles. I also fixed whatever welds the robot messed up.”
Eventually, he “decided I wanted to go back to college and did not see a future working here.”
CCSO spokesman Philip Price told The Clayton Crescent that the Internal Affairs investigation is ongoing as of press time. Those records are not immediately available under Georgia Open Records Law.