Mid-South family alleges police brutality

By Lori Brown - bio | email

CLARKSDALE, MS (WMC-TV) - A fight between a citizen and Mid-South police officers caught on a cell phone camera is the subject of a police brutality investigation.

Family members said the incident occurred when Steven Haynes, 21, saw police officers being rough to his cousin after a traffic stop in front of Haynes' house.  Haynes' cousin was trying to speak to his mother at the time.

Terrance Downing, another one of Haynes' cousins, said Haynes was only trying to help his cousin.

"At that time, Steven said he has a right to speak to his mother," Downing said.  "The officer illegally came up to the porch, told him to shut his mouth, get in the house.  He used cuss words," Downing added.

On the video, the officer is seen taking Haynes, who is not touching the officer, off of his porch to the street.  Haynes does not appear to resist.

Next, Haynes reached into his pocket to pull out money to his cousin.  His family said it was to pay his bail.

At this point, family members said things turned from bad to worse.

"In plain view, started chocking Steven," Downing said.  "They slammed him on the ground, knocked him out."

James Thomas, Haynes father, then said the officer sprayed mace on Haynes.

"Held his face up and sprayed mace on him," Thomas said.  "He's knocked out, why would you spray mace in his face?"

When asked to comment, the Clarksdale Police Department asked Action News 5 to come back Monday.

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