DeKalb deputies suspended after "unprofessional" arrest

11:40 PM, Aug 12, 2013   |    comments
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DECATUR, Ga. -- The DeKalb County Sheriff office is taking disciplinary action against deputies after an arrest made in July.

According to a press release from the Sheriff's Department, one Deputy Sheriff Sergeant is being demoted, if he does not retire as previously planned, and three other deputies are suspended.  The names of the employees are being withheld until they are served with their disciplinary actions. 

Sheriff Tom Brown has planned a press conference to explain the punishments in the morning.  A local civil rights group plans to protest the punishments for what they say is a lack of severity.  

In addition, the Sheriff has implemented new policies and procedures to determine the time of day certain Civil warrants will be executed by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office. 

Sheriff deputies were serving a contempt of court order on Natania Griffin in July. She was a party to a lawsuit and ordered to pay some fees which, according to a warrant, she never paid.

Her family shot video of the arrest. Deputies confirm they showed up at her house in Ellenwood at 1:30 in the morning. They were there to arrest the woman for failing to pay the court a thousand dollars.

The YouTube video shows a lot of foul language and some jostling with the woman's grown children. DeKalb's chief sheriff's deputy says some of the language deputies used was unprofessional-- but not the show of force at 1:30 in the morning.

"That's appropriate," said chief deputy Jeffrey Mann. "I don't have any concern with the time that they showed up at the residence. We serve, execute warrants 24 hours a day."    

Mann says the residents called 911 and the 911 operators assured them the deputies at the door were authentic. The family finally let the deputies in after 30 minutes, Mann says, and the woman was arrested.

Family members didn't respond to requests for comment.

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