Paulding deputy who body-slammed man during arrest in viral video has been fired

Written by: A. Smith

Published February 16, 2023 @ 10:00 PM ET
Last Updated: March 1, 2023 @ 7:40 PM ET

Update: According to authorities, a Paulding County sheriff’s deputy at the center of an excessive use-of-force investigation after body slamming a man during an arrest last year has been fired. The agency cited policy violations as the reason for his termination but said it wasn’t directly related to the body-slamming incident. The GBI is still investigating.

Deputy Michael McMaster was placed on administrative duty on February 17th after a video of the incident went viral, nearly a year after the incident occurred, prompting the GBI to investigate the matter independently.

The attorney for victim Tyler Canaris, 30, held a news conference on February 20th, saying he suffered serious injuries to his right clavicle, a skull fracture, ruptured ear drum, and concussion. They added that he also suffered a traumatic brain injury from the assault.

“Tyler had to be admitted to the hospital for injuries. He had to have surgery and see numerous specialists. The incident left him with $75,000 worth of medical bills,” said attorney Torris Butterfield.

According to the deputy’s personnel file, McMaster has been reprimanded at least ten times, beginning in 2015 to as recent as November 2022, for a variety of reasons. At one point, his supervisor reprimanded him in writing, stating that he “can be unnecessarily overly aggressive.” He was advised to attend anger management classes and was threatened with termination.

Between 2015-2020, he was reprimanded for: taking a jail car without permission to run personal errands while off-duty, leaving a jail phone inside of an inmate’s cell, leaving a trainee alone in the book-in room for an extended period of time, leaving drug evidence out in the open overnight at the sheriff’s office, and arresting a man for simple battery but failing to secure an arrest warrant within the timeframe required by law, so the suspect was released from custody.

In 2012, McMaster was seeking a promotion within the department. They agreed that he needed “much improvement” in dependability and competence. Despite their findings, McMaster was later promoted and assigned to the Special Response Team.

In November 2022, he was attending a training session and called his supervisor to say that his class would likely last until the end of his shift. He was given the ok to go home after his class. However, the class ended much earlier in the afternoon, and the other colleagues in his class returned to work to complete their shifts. His supervisors stated he had been “misleading and dishonest to his supervisor,” which McMaster disputed.

The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office is not commenting on any part of the deputy’s personnel file or this incident while the GBI investigates the case. Updates will be provided as they become available.

Paulding County (March 4, 2022) – A video is going viral after a Paulding County Sheriff’s deputy stopped a man, Tyler Canaris, because they believed he fit the description of a person attempting to break into cars in the area before violently body-slamming him on the pavement and causing significant injuries.

Officers stated in the video footage that he was not believed to have entered any vehicles or stolen items, but he had “criminal intent” to do so. Canaris was never charged with any crime related to attempting to break into vehicles. Instead, he was charged with obstruction.

Canaris said he was only walking to work that night and had not done anything wrong.

As the officer approached Canaris, he told him he was being detained and asked him to remove his backpack. Canaris repeatedly asked what he was being detained for and what he had done wrong before the officer lifted him over his head and slammed him onto the pavement. Canaris suffered a broken collarbone and concussion.

Following the incident, Canaris was hospitalized for nine days. He was charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer and booked into jail on May 12.

He was released the same day on a $1k bond. This case is currently pending and will be updated as more information becomes available.