Video of a white highway patrol officer wrestling a handcuffed black man to the ground and putting him in a chokehold that went viral online has prompted an investigation into the violent arrest.
The video, taken on Friday in McComb, Mississippi by Packer Lewis, has sparked outrage and an investigation into the officer’s actions.
One of Lewis’ brothers, Eugene Lewis, is shown in the video standing in the street handcuffed as Packer and another brother, Darius Lewis, yell that they are recording the interaction.
Video shows the officer grabbing Eugene Lewis by the neck, dragging him across the street and tackling him to the ground and into a ditch on the side of the road before using his knee to pin him down.
The three brothers have spoken out about the highway patrol officer’s aggression (Pictures: Twitter)
‘That’s how George Floyd died,’ Packer Lewis can be heard yelling in the video, which he also livestreamed onto Facebook. Floyd was a black man who died after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for over nine minutes in May 2020, sparking global protests against police brutality.
Packer Lewis told the Associated Press that the officer became aggressive after telling the brothers to leave the scene.
‘He said y’all need to leave. It’s not y’all business. We said it’s out business because it’s our brother,’ he said.
After detaining Eugene Lewis and placing him in the back of his police car, the officer then pointed his weapon at the other two brothers. A second officer arrived and arrested Packer and Darius Lewis.
Eugene Lewis told WJTV that the cop had initially pulled him over because he was driving 35mph in a 30mph zone. He said the cop told him he was arresting him for smoking marijuana before he began driving, which he denies.
In a Facebook post, Packer Lewis expressed fear over what could have happened had he and Darius Lewis not been there for their brother.
‘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,’ he wrote. ‘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.’
Public officials have since launched an investigation into the violent arrest. Authorities have not publicly identified the officer involved.
‘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.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.