October 2, 2022
Mississippi Trooper Approved in Investigation of Black Man’s Chokehold

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Department of Public Safety said Friday that its internal investigation found no criminal conduct by a white Highway Patrol soldier who used physical force against a handcuffed black man during his arrest. The confrontation was caught on video by the relatives of the man being arrested.

One start investigation After the video of relatives of the August 5 incident went viral. Footage shows the soldier putting a handcuffed man in a chokehold and wrestling him into a grassy moat in a rural area near the south Mississippi town of McComb.

Department and investigators from two of its divisions, the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, said they had completed all necessary inquiries.

“Review of the incident by MBI agents and command staff found no evidence of criminal conduct by the soldier during the encounter,” Lieutenant Colonel Charles Haynes, director of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, said in a news release.

The Public Safety Department released about 40 minutes of video and audio. This included video shot by cameras in the soldier’s patrol car, audio captured by the soldier, and video shot by the brothers of the first person arrested. Although some patrol car footage was silent, the department said it had synchronized the video and audio clips.

Part of the footage shows Eugene Lewis standing on the street in handcuffs as his brother, Gary, also known as “Packer” Lewis, and another brother, Darius Lewis, shouted that they should not let the incident happen. were recording. Suddenly, the soldier grabbed Eugene Lewis by the neck and dragged him across the road, causing him to fall to the ground. At one point, the soldier is seen using his knee to knock him down.

Investigators have identified the jawan as Hayden Falvey. In the joint video and audio, Lewis can be heard saying to Falvey, “I can’t breathe,” to which the soldier replied, “You’re moving your mouth. You can breathe.”

According to the news release, Falvi pulled Lewis over for speeding and other traffic violations. It also said that Falvey alleged that he smelled burnt marijuana from the vehicle, and that Lewis’ eyes were bloodshot and glassy.

In patrol car dashboard camera footage and audio released Friday, Falvey can be heard asking Eugene Lewis: “Have you smoked some weed lately?”

Lewis replied that he had done so about 40 or 50 minutes earlier.

“Okay,” said Falvey, patting Lewis. “No big deal.”

Falve handcuffed Lewis, saying it was a precaution as he searched Lewis’ SUV. The soldier said Lewis was not arrested at the time and asked Lewis several questions about whether he had ever been arrested and whether there was any marijuana or other drugs in the vehicle. Lewis said he had previously been arrested for selling cocaine.

During the soldier’s vehicle search, Gary and Darius Lewis run into a Dodge Charger, stop and exit their vehicle. They identified themselves as brothers of Lewis. After a brief exchange with Falvey, the brothers left. They soon returned to shoot cellphone videos as the soldier had a physical altercation with Eugene Lewis.

After Falvey puts Eugene Lewis in a patrol car and fastens his seat belt, Lewis uses obscenities against the soldier.

“I’m glad you feel that way, sir,” Falvey replied.

A video shot by one of Eugene Lewis’ brothers shows another state soldier arriving. It depicts a soldier walking towards two brothers and pointing a weapon at one of them.

Soldiers arrest two of Eugene Lewis’ brothers. In the audio released on Friday, Falve can be heard telling the men that they should not have stopped to shoot the video.

“Your brother is going to jail,” Falvey said. “Now you’re all charging for your theatrics.”

Packer Lewis said his brothers were released from prison that night, but were held for two more days because of a previous charge on their criminal record. He said he is facing nine charges related to the incident, including obstruction of justice. Eugene Lewis is also facing eight charges and Darius Lewis is facing five charges.

Tyndale defended the soldiers’ decision to arrest the brothers who had videotaped the incident.

Tyndale said in the news release, “While the DPS and MHSP recognize and respect the right of law enforcement officers to perform their duties and even record citizens’ rights, those rights are not without limitations. ” “As you will see, this incident is a prime example of how even a routine traffic stop can turn into a dangerous situation for both citizens and law enforcement officers when subjects resist arrest and when unaffiliated individuals intervene. Huh.”

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