A white Georgia Deputy Sheriff has been caught on a disturbing cell phone video manhandling a black mother in front of her daughter.
The cell phone video showed the Richmond County Sheriff’s Deputy Todd Beasley, roughly manhandling the mother identified as Sherita Jackson before her daughter who cried “get off my mommy!” in an effort to arrest her.
Jackson had been at the Family Dollar in Augusta to purchase some items on October 17 when Mary Blount, a store employee, called police on her seeking she be barred from the property for interloping.
According to the incident report, when Beasley arrived at the scene, he reached out to Blount first and later spotted Jackson walking west on Sand Bar Ferry Road with her two children.
Beasley approached Jackson who was carrying her purchased items and explained to her why he was contacting her and asked to identify herself.
Despite the U.S. Constitution providing the right to remain silent during questioning from authorities including instances of a request for identification, Georgia is one of several states that require people suspected of certain offenses to identify themselves under what’s known as “stop and identify” laws.
And the Supreme Court ruled in 2004 in Hiibel v. Nevada that officers can compel persons to identify themselves in states that have passed stop-and-identify statutes.
Jackson was, however, “less than cooperative and wouldn’t identify herself,” Beasley said in the incident report, so he threatened her with an arrest for obstruction as well as called on the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) for her children.
“The suspect began dialing her phone and when asked who she was calling, she stated, ‘Someone to get my kids,’” Beasley said. “I deduced that the comment meant that she was going to hinder my investigation by not identifying herself and I would be required to arrest her.
“I cuffed the left wrist of the suspect and instructed her to place her hands behind her back several times and she refused and physically resisted,” Beasley said in the report. “I warned her that I would have to put her on the ground if she kept resisting.”
Beasley said he tripped Jackson forward and took her to the ground while she shouted: “Help me. Please, somebody help.” She even told the Sheriff’s deputy at one point: “I’m 110 pounds. Get off of me with your weight.”
Jackson, according to News Channel 6, doesn’t have a criminal record but spent one night in jail in the recent incident.
Commenting on the incident, the sheriff’s office said there is no specific policy regarding arresting subjects with children present and that it’s up to the officer’s discretion.
“If an arrest is made and the child does not have any guardians present, we ask the subject we are arresting if there is a family member or relative they would like contacted to take care of their child,” the sheriff’s office told News Channel 6.