I-TEAM: Closer look at who’s policing the police in Richmond County

I-TEAM: Closer look at who’s policing the police in Richmond County


An all-new I-TEAM investigation takes a closer look at who’s keeping watch over those who protect and serve in Richmond County, Georgia. The investigation was prompted by a cell phone video that captured an incident where Richmond County deputies entered a home without a warrant. This article examines the incident, the lack of independent oversight, and the need for accountability in law enforcement agencies.

The Incident

The incident occurred off Glenn Hills Drive in Augusta. The cell phone video shows Richmond County deputies implying that they did not have a warrant to enter the home they wanted to search. In the video, Keishaun Young asks, “Do you have a warrant to come here?” and Sgt. Megan Inman responds, “We’re in the process of applying – we’re gonna apply for one.” Despite not having a warrant, the deputies forcefully entered the home with a gun drawn.

Issues of Rights and Accountability

The incident raises questions about individuals’ rights and what recourse they have when their rights are violated by law enforcement. This question has gained national attention following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that lawmakers across the country have considered over 4,500 pieces of legislation related to policing since May 2020. However, neither Georgia nor South Carolina are among the states that have passed laws related to police oversight.

Conflicts of Interest

The I-TEAM investigation revealed a major conflict of interest in Richmond County. When individuals have a complaint about the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, they must take that complaint to the same department for investigation. This means that the department is essentially investigating itself, leading to concerns about impartiality and accountability. The investigation emphasizes the need for independent oversight to ensure transparency and fairness.

The Family’s Perspective

The I-TEAM interviewed Keishaun Young and her family, who were directly involved in the incident. Keishaun describes how she began recording as soon as the deputies entered the home without a warrant. She repeatedly asked if they had a warrant and expressed her concerns about their actions. Her son, Lyndale Wilson Jr., recounts how he was handcuffed and put in the back of a patrol car, despite being the victim in the case. The family expresses their fear, frustration, and lack of trust in law enforcement following the incident.

The Sheriff’s Response

The I-TEAM attempted to interview Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree about the incident, but he declined to speak with them. The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office also declined to answer questions or provide comments about the cell phone video or the case, citing an ongoing investigation. This lack of transparency further highlights the need for independent oversight and accountability.

The Investigation and Findings

The I-TEAM obtained documents related to the incident, including the official complaint filed by Jasmine Leverett, Lyndale’s fiancée and resident of the home. Leverett’s complaint raised concerns about the deputies not producing a warrant when asked and using force to enter the home. However, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office investigated the complaint and deemed it “unfounded” within just one day. The family believes that the investigation was not thorough or impartial, as they were never questioned and the deputies’ actions were not properly scrutinized.

Community Trust and Independent Oversight

The lack of independent oversight in the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office creates a sense of distrust within the community. Other cities, like Atlanta and Athens-Clarke County, have implemented independent boards with the power to investigate law enforcement agencies. These civilian oversight boards have proven to be effective in building trust and ensuring accountability. However, Richmond County currently does not have such a system in place. The National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) advocates for more access to records and subpoena power for civilian oversight boards.

The Need for Change

Given the size and influence of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, some experts argue that it is a prime candidate for a citizen review board. The current system, where the department investigates itself, is seen as flawed and lacking in accountability. Manuel Gomez, a private investigator working with the family, highlights the importance of independent oversight to protect individuals’ rights and address grievances. The I-TEAM’s open records request for complaints against the deputies involved in the incident revealed two previous complaints against Sgt. Megan Inman, both of which were deemed “unsubstantiated” by the Sheriff’s Office.


The I-TEAM investigation sheds light on the need for independent oversight and accountability in law enforcement agencies, particularly in Richmond County. The incident captured on the cell phone video raises concerns about individuals’ rights and the potential misuse of power by law enforcement. The lack of transparency and impartiality in the investigation of complaints further erodes trust in the community. The implementation of civilian oversight boards with subpoena power is crucial to ensure transparency, fairness, and ultimately restore trust in law enforcement.