Washington: A police officer in the US state of Georgia has been fired after footage emerged of him pinning an African-American man to the ground and punching him as the latter reportedly refused to show his ID, the media reported Monday.
The incident took place September 11 near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport when the victim, Roderick Walker, 26, his girlfriend, their five-month-old child and his step-son were riding in a Lyft cab when two Clayton County Sheriff deputies pulled the car over for a broken taillight, the BBC reported.
The cab driver reportedly did not have his ID, and the deputies then asked the victim to show his. After an altercation, the police tried to arrest him. Video shared on social media showed Walker being held down by two white deputies, one of whom punches him.
According to the victim’s lawyer, Walker lost consciousness at least twice during the arrest. A photograph of Walker taken later in custody shows him with a swollen left eye.
In a statement on Sunday, Clayton County Sheriff’s Office said “the deputy who repeatedly struck Roderick Walker” was to lose his job “for excessive use of force”.
Meanwhile, Walker has been charged with two counts of obstructing officers and two counts of battery, ABC News reported. His family and his lawyers are pressing to have him released from jail.
This latest incident comes in the midst of nationwide unrest which was triggered after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, in the hands of police. He died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
In a similar incident August 23, Jacob Blake, another black man, was shot in the back seven times by a while policeman in the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin. The reason for the shooting is still under probe.
On March 23, Daniel Prude, also an African-American, died in Rochester, New York after the police held him down on the road for two minutes and also put a “spit hood” on his head.
Although Prude died in March, the incident only came to light earlier this month.