DeKalb County deputy says he was forced out for wearing a wig just prior to retirement

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. – A DeKalb County deputy says he was forced off the job just prior to a 20-year retirement for wearing an aftro wig while performing his duties.

Antonio Perryman is calling it hypocritical of the sheriff because of the top enforcer’s own professional troubles, a 2017 arrest for indecent exposure and running from Atlanta police officers.

Perryman told Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr that he’s hurt by the way he was forced out after two decades of stellar service.

“I said, ‘Hey, you know, let me make people happy, you know? Do something a little different.’ So I put on the Afro wig. Neither time I was out there did I not do my job duties,” Perryman said.

With three days left before celebrating a 20-year retirement, Perryman decided to direct traffic outside the courthouse wearing an Afro wig. As a result, people found it entertaining as bystanders took pictures and laughed, according to WSB-TV.

“You know, that made me feel a little joyous about that being my last week,” Perryman told Carr.

However, hours after his shift last week, Perryman received a late-night phone call from a superior. Consequently, the DeKalb County deputy said he was soon forced to resign.

“I was later informed by Chief Maddox that she and the sheriff were totally upset over the Afro wig and told me that I disgraced the uniform,” Perryman said. “When she told me that, I just got numb. Like ‘I disgraced the uniform?’ And in my mind, I’m here saying that we got a sheriff running through Piedmont Park from the police like it’s an episode of ‘Cops.'”

Perryman is talking about the 2017 investigation into Sheriff Jeffrey Mann’s trouble that began with charges of indecency and obstruction. Furthermore, WST-TV discovered video of the sheriff running from Atlanta police as they tried to make an arrest.

It ended with a guilty plea to lesser charges and the revocation of Mann’s state law enforcement certification. He was sentenced to pay fines of $2,000 and serve 80 hours of community service. He was also banished from city of Atlanta parks for six months. However, the sheriff is still fighting the decision today in a state-level appeal and is due in court late this year.

Nevertheless, Perryman’s point is well taken. He gets canned for having a little joviality in his final week before retirement, while the sheriff remains on the job even though he’s pleaded guilty to a criminal offense that originated with an allegation of indecent exposure.

Perryman said his punishment was overly harsh and incongruent with the incident.

“My plan was to finish with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office with 20 years of service and I got robbed from that,” he declared.

Perryman doesn’t expect to lose pay in the ordeal, but his records won’t reflect actual retirement.

While these incidents typically offer an appeals process, the Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on a personnel issue Tuesday, saying Carr will have to submit a records request for Perryman’s file, which the reporter did.

So in a day when police officers are lip syncing and dancing in music videos—under the umbrella of community relations—you can eliminate “wearing a wig” as something acceptable to connect with the public in a good natured way; at least in DeKalb County.


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