Clarksdale family claims police brutality, plans lawsuit - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Clarksdale family claims police brutality, plans lawsuit

Family members allege the video shows police brutality, but officers claim everything was handled properly. Family members allege the video shows police brutality, but officers claim everything was handled properly.

By Chip Washington - bio | email

CLARKSDALE, MS (WMC-TV) - A Clarksdale family says their home video proves police beat up an innocent man, but the city says the video proves officers did everything by the book.  Now the family is suing and police are investigating.

Home video shows Steven Haynes being arrested during an altercation with officers while he witnessed the arrest of a family member in front of his home.  Monday, family members held a press conference, alleging police brutality had taken place, and can be seen in the video

Wendell Lee of the NAACP said Haynes was not the aggressor.

"(Police said he) tried to fight or hit the officers," Lee said. "We didn't see that. What we saw was the officer being aggressive and because that's a violation of his civil rights we're going to file a lawsuit."

The altercation happened last Wednesday, after Haynes got into a shouting match with an officer.  Haynes was asked to stop talking, and when he did not, the officer arrested him.

Steven Haynes mother, Lisa, feels the treatment was harsh.

"If they felt it was okay to arrest him for talking, then they could have went on and arrested him," she said. "It didn't have to end up like it did."

Haynes was charged with felony assault against a police officer after he was subdued by several officers with pepper spray.  A photo of Haynes taken two days after the incident showed no visible marks on Haynes' face.

Clarksdale City Attorney Curtis Boschert said the video may not tell the whole story.

"The video doesn't show the whole scene of what occurred over there that day," Boschert said. "It obviously has a starting point but doesn't show what started the whole incident.

Boschert said no formal complaint has been filed by the family. Meanwhile, the officer who was involved is still on duty pending the official outcome of the investigation.

Haynes remains in jail on $100,000 bond.

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