An African-American man in Mississippi was brutally beat up by police officers after he reportedly turned over a police vehicle checkpoint.
James Barnett, 36, was on his way in Jasper County, Mississippi when he avoided a police checkpoint. The move resulted in a chase by police officers.
When the cops approached his car, the two officers didn’t ask or say anything but pointed guns at him.
The cops then forced him to the ground while loaded guns were still drawn at him. Barnett reportedly complied with all the orders the cops gave him and didn’t fight back but the officers began beating him brutally and kicked him repeatedly with steal-toe shoes.
According to Barnett, the police officers transported him to the South Central Regional Medical Center, however, they continued to beat him. In the end, they charged the man with five misdemeanors. The charges include driving with a suspected license and resisting arrest.
Barnett shared the entire ordeal on Facebook and uploaded pictures of his injured face.
“I wouldn’t wish this on NOBODY!! One even had the nerve to ask me how did those steel toes feel boy, trying to get a rise out of me, but I just laid there and prayed!! Never been so afraid in my life, 6 white cops surrounded my bed taunting me as if the assault wasn’t enough!! I will not let this go. I don’t this to happen to anyone else. There is no justice in what they did to me!! But I will get JUSTICE!!” he wrote in the post.
Laurel Police Department launched an investigation into the incident and fired the two officers who were involved in the brutal arrest.
The department is also hoping to press additional charges on the officers.
“The Officers and Administration of LPD take these types of allegations very seriously. It should be noted that the [internal affairs investigation] was initiated only hours after the incident occurred before any media attention, social media posts or even a formal complaint from the individual involved,” read the statement.
The incident once again highlights the racial tensions between minority communities and police. Incidents of officers using excessive force against people of color, especially African-American people, routinely make headlines. In Barnett’s case, even if he was at fault, beating him up so viciously can’t be justified.
Moreover, had it been a white man instead of Barnett, police would have handled the case very differently.
Spotlight, Banner: Reuters, Gleb Garanich