Video shows a Mississippi state police officer violently arresting a Black man during a traffic stop

·3 min read
A Mississippi Highway Patrol patch on a patrolman's uniform.
Video showed a Black man being restrained and arrested by a Mississippi Highway Patrol officer.Associated Press
  • Video showed a Mississippi police officer violently arresting a Black man on Friday.

  • The Mississippi highway patrolman knelt on the man, who was handcuffed, the footage shows.

  • A state legislator called the video "alarming."

Video has surfaced showing a Mississippi highway patrolman violently restraining and arresting a Black man during a traffic stop in McComb, Mississippi, on Friday.

The video, which was livestreamed on Facebook by a man named Packer Lewis and has been viewed over 522,000 times, shows a patrolman dragging Eugene Lewis, a Black man in handcuffs, and pulling him to the ground on the side of a road. The patrolman pushes his knee into Lewis's side while pointing a Taser at the man recording the video, the footage shows.

"That's how George Floyd died right there," Packer Lewis can he heard saying in the video.

George Floyd was a Black man who died after former Minneapolice Police Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes in May 2020. Floyd's death sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.

In the video of the Mississippi arrest, the patrolman, who is white according to the Associated Press, raises Eugene Lewis up by the arms and puts him into the back of his patrol car. It concludes with the patrolman walking toward the man who is recording and threatening to arrest him before putting another man who is also recording into handcuffs.

Eugene Lewis told WJTV that the patrolman pulled him over for driving 5 miles-per-hour above the speed limit. He told the outlet that the patrolman arrested him for claiming he smoked marijuana before he began driving, which he denies.

Lewis said the patrolman "hit me under my throat" after he called him a racist.

State Rep. Daryl Porter, a Democrat, released a statement about the video on Saturday, calling it "alarming." Porter said that he had spoken directly with the commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, who said that it had opened an internal affairs investigation into the patrolman and that the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations is investigating as well.

The three men in the video are brothers, and all three were arrested by the highway patrol, according to WJTV. It's unclear what the men were arrested for and a spokesperson for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, which houses the highway patrol and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, declined to comment on the reason for the three men's arrests.

Insider previously covered the death of a baby named La'Mello Parker, who was shot by police in Mississippi. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations did not investigate Parker's death and deferred the investigation to the Biloxi Police Department because officers from the highway patrol were involved in the shooting, according to the Mississippi Free Press.

While the Department of Public Safety declined to comment on whether it is standard for the MBI to investigate allegations of misconduct against highway patrolmen, it shared a statement that read:

"On Friday, August 5, 2022, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety was made aware of an incident involving a Mississippi Highway Patrolman conducting an arrest on a subject in McComb, MS. This incident is being reviewed internally by the Department of Public Safety. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is also conducting an inquiry. No further comment will be made at this time."

Packer Lewis, the man who recorded the video, said in a Facebook post that he was in jail for multiple days after the incident.

"I honestly believe that if this situation would've happened at night that either me or my brother would've been gunned down or seriously hurt," Lewis wrote on Facebook. We don't need officers here to protect and serve like this trooper, I stayed in jail for a couple days for absolutely nothing, sad but it's the world we live in."

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