Video shows bar fight prior to Tunica Co. jail inmate’s death

(SOURCE: submitted)
(SOURCE: submitted)

TUNICA CO., MS (WMC) - Officials released surveillance video of a bar fight in Robinsonville, Mississippi. One of the men in the video was arrested and taken to Tunica County Jail. More than 15 hours after being taken to jail, he was taken to the hospital where he died.

Tunica County Sheriff's Office officials said Derek Smith was arrested for resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, and public drunkenness. Smith was arrested after a fist fight at a bar in Robinsonville.

Tunica County Chief Deputy Randy Stewart said when they arrived, Smith refused to have a medical assessment. Deputies were willing to let Smith leave, but said he became very combative. Investigators stunned Smith twice in the leg, put him in handcuffs, and took him to jail.

Smith was in jail for more than 15 hours before he was taken to the hospital, where he later died.

"It's a shock to everybody you know, you know that something like that could happen 'cause like I said, he was a well-mannered, polite, young man," acquaintance Jeff Wilson said.

Even employees at the Robinsonville Bar that Smith went to occasionally with his girlfriend said he was always polite and did not appear drunk the night the bar surveillance video was recorded.

The bar owner said they called sheriff's deputies and an ambulance when the fight happened.

Tunica County investigators released the bar video because they want to know the identity of the person involved in the fight with Smith. That man left the bar after the fight. The bar owner said Smith and his girlfriend were out in the parking lot for 52 minutes with deputies and an ambulance.

She said Smith was acting belligerent and that he was tased twice while his girlfriend asked deputies to stop tasing him.

Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agents are investigating Smith's death.

An MBI spokesperson said investigators are waiting on the results of an autopsy on Smith. His cause of death has not been determined.

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