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Protesting for body cameras continues in Augusta County, chairman says hands are tied for now

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 10:49 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - People were back Wednesday night talking to the Augusta County Board of Supervisors about the need for body cameras for the Sheriff’s Office and transparency.

The request comes after two deputy-involved shootings, including one death, currently being investigated by Virginia State Police.

Before the meeting started, a group marched outside the Augusta County Government Center asking for body cameras.

Later inside, several people spoke to the board, including a mother who fears for Black people in the community and a sergeant with the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office who says they all need to come together and talk.

“We agree with you. We want the body cameras. I have nothing to hide, and nor does the deputies. We have nothing to hide,” said Sgt. Josh Graves. “We try to answer each call. We don’t know what we’re walking into. We put our lives on the line every day to make sure everybody goes home including the community. When you dial 911 a deputy arrives.”

“I’m here because I’m a black mother and black men are getting beat. Two of them I know personally. They’re getting shot,” said T-Ann Johnson in response to Graves. “This is not protecting us. We fear Augusta County instead of calling them to protect us.”

Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald Garber says there’s nothing to be done regarding the body cameras until next year’s budget cycle begins.

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