Greenwood officer won't be charged in arrest of high school student

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) - A judge ruled today (Monday) that a Greenwood police officer whose scuffle with a student was caught on video and drew national attention will NOT be charged with assault.

Leflore County Circuit Judge Ashley Hines said in a ruling issued today that there's NO probable cause to issue an arrest warrant for Officer Casey Wiggins for simple assault on Greenwood High School student James Marshall.

Police officers and public school teachers are entitled to a probable cause hearing under state law before arrest if accused of committing a felony or misdemeanor while on duty.

The December 6th, 2006 confrontation was captured by school surveillance cameras. The videotape from those cameras showed Wiggins pulled his gun on Marshall and pointed it at Marshall's head.

Wiggins also appeared to put the teenager in a choke hold.

Though Wiggins was an employee of the Greenwood Police Department, he had not yet undergone formal training required of police officers in Mississippi at the time of Marshall's arrest.

Marshall has denied any wrongdoing. Attorneys for Marshall and Wiggins could not immediately be contacted this afternoon for comment.

Greenwood Police Chief Lester Carter was out of his office but a spokeswoman said he would return later in the day.

Moore, representing Marshall, has filed a two (m) million dollar civil lawsuit and a federal criminal complaint with the U-S Justice Department. It accuses Wiggins of excessive force and of making a false arrest under the color of law.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)