The Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office announced a resolution to what Sheriff Tom Brown called the department’s “little situation.” According to a statement from the department, three deputies have been suspended and another has been demoted, provided he does not retire as previously planned.
Brown opened an investigation after the release of a video showing multiple deputies in an incident at an Ellenwood home that took place on July 26 while trying to serve an arrest warrant.
Video of the incident, which has generated nearly 600,000 views on website WorldStarHipHop.com, shows police violently banging on the door of what the residents say is the wrong house and then berating the occupants, including threatening to “tase the sh*t” out of them, once they are let inside. The family says they were also physically assaulted during the incident.
Spokesmen from the sheriff’s department have disputed the claims of physical violence and maintained that they had a valid warrant for the arrest of one of the home’s occupants. Brown did say that the “verbal lashing” given to the family by deputies was uncalled-for.
“Their comments were inappropriate,” Brown told the Daily World. “It set Black people back 45 years. It just simply is not the standard that I expect from any of my deputies in the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office. I’m going to have to retrain and where appropriate give appropriate discipline.”
Brown previously told the Daily World that he didn’t see any reason to remove the deputies from duty during the investigation.
Department spokesman Kyle K. Jones revealed the suspensions and demotions in a statement released Monday. Jones announced that Brown had “conducted a thorough review of the facts and the conduct of the Sheriff Deputies involved.”
“These actions are based on the deputies’ unprofessional comments and language during the incident,” Jones said in the statement. In a separate interview with the AJC, Jones said that the deputies will be suspended without pay for between one and two days.
The names of the employees were withheld until the deputies were personally served with the disciplinary actions, according to the department.
Jones also noted that Brown has implemented new policies and aboute the time of day certain civil warrants will be executed by the sheriff’s office.
The lengths of the suspensions for the three deputies and the new position of the demoted deputy were not revealed.
Brown will be holding a press conference to discuss details of the incident and suspensions Tuesday at 9:00 a.m.