Video footage of an incident between a Mississippi Highway Patrol officer and three Black men has gone viral on Facebook. According to The Associated Press, the situation is being investigated but it remains unclear what led to the traffic stop or handcuffing in the first place.
Packer Lewis recorded the incident and posted the five minute video to Facebook, gathering almost 600k views. Per the video, Packer’s brother Eugene was standing in the road with his hands cuffed behind his back. Packer and their other brother Darius alerted the officer that they were recording and asked the officer why he attacked Eugene moments before. Suddenly, chaos erupted.
The video shows the officer grabbing Eugene by the neck and slamming him down onto the ground. The two then rolled into a ditch and the officer knelt on an already-handcuffed Eugene for about 3 minutes. “That’s how George Floyd died,” Packer shouted from behind the camera.
More on the case from AP News:
After detaining Eugene Lewis in a police car, the officer then walked toward the other two brothers and pointed a weapon at one of them. After another officer arrived, Packer and Darius Lewis were then arrested.
Public officials said an investigation is underway. Authorities have not identified the officer involved nor said what prompted Eugene Lewis to be placed in handcuffs. Packer Lewis said his brother was pulled over for allegedly speeding and then was arrested for having an expired license.
“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,” said Bailey Martin, a spokesperson for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. “This incident is being reviewed internally by the Department of Public Safety. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is also conducting an inquiry.”
Packer told AP News things escalated when the brothers refused to leave the scene. However, Eugene told WJTV the officer lost his temper after he called him a racist. The Lewis brothers were released from jail but Packer is facing eight charges related to the incident including obstruction of justice, per the report. Recording was crucial in this case because the officer basically threw a tantrum. I almost forgot that making sure police don’t kill people is considered an “obstruction” nowadays.
“He seems to obviously have lost control of himself, and he almost looked like he was afraid of the gentleman recording. And because of that, he overreacted in the moment,” said Howard Henderson, director of the Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University, via AP News. He also said this was a display of “bad policing 101.”
McComb Mayor Quordiniah Lockley said he was “alarmed” and “disturbed” by the video. Lockley also contacted Rep. Daryl Porter Jr. who said the Internal Affairs and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation are looking into the incident as well.