Chatham Co. man suing two sheriffs after traffic stop

(Source: Anthony Oliver)
(Source: Anthony Oliver)
(Source: Anthony Oliver)
(Source: Anthony Oliver)
(Source: Anthony Oliver)
(Source: Anthony Oliver)

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Body camera video captured the moment a Chatham County man is taken into custody by U.S. Marshals. That man is now suing the sheriffs of Chatham and Effingham counties. He says deputies used excessive force getting him in handcuffs.

Now, we're hearing from Anthony Oliver on his case and why he thinks he was mistreated. The video shows two things distinctively. First, it shows Oliver getting hit from behind in his car, and then it shows one of the deputies throwing that body camera into a ditch.

The video starts with a conversation with a 911 dispatcher. It ends with the camera submerged in a couple inches of water in a nearby ditch.

It's what happens in between on the afternoon of January 23 that is the main reason Anthony Oliver is filing suit. We asked him why he didn't pull over.

"Because he pulled out a firearm and I didn't know who he was," Oliver said.

Oliver had been arrested twice before in Chatham County for missing two payments on a DUI charge out of California. After the second arrest, he says he had a court date in February. That's the reason Oliver didn't believe it was police who were behind him.

"And at that point, I told the dispatcher, 'I don't know who he is.' And I never thought I was subject to an arrest warrant because I still had an upcoming court date," Oliver said.

Once Oliver pulled over and got out, you can see the large police presence behind him. He says he never went above the speed limit, and his emergency flashers were on.

He claims deputies beat and kicked him once he was on the ground, but it's not clear if that happens based solely on the body camera video.

The U.S. Marshal trucks did not have dash cameras. The lone Effingham deputy seen in the video is a school resource officer. The sheriff said he never activated his dash cam. None of this was caught on dash-cam from any cruiser.

One of Oliver's complaints is the wreck report written by the Georgia State Patrol. It said Oliver abruptly put on his breaks. The report said due to that sudden and unexpected stop, the deputy slammed into the back of Oliver's car. His video shows there were no sudden stops.

One of his biggest issues is what happens at the end when a man he identifies as Deputy Franklin Rollins took Oliver's camera and threw it in the water.

"It's quite simple and I don't think there's any second-guessing, he was trying to destroy the evidence that was very incriminating against him," said Oliver.

The Chatham County Sheriff's Office would not comment on the case. They instead referred us to the county attorney. We have not heard back from him.

The sheriff's office confirmed that Rollins is no longer working with the U.S. Marshals. However, they say it's not related to this. They say he was given a break because he was at an incident late last year in Long County where another U.S. Marshal was killed.

Oliver is suing Chatham and Effingham counties. He is also suing both sheriffs individually for a violation of his civil rights. Oliver also named Deputy Franklin Rollins as a defendant.

Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said two of his deputies were on the way to the scene when Oliver was taken into custody. They did not end up responding.

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