Dash cam

Dashcam video of soldier making McComb arrest released

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety (“DPS”), Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol (“MHSP”) and Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (“MBI”) released a statement along with camera footage dashboard after completing all necessary investigations into an incident involving a state trooper that occurred in McComb on Aug. 5. The incident received significant attention on social media and in the media after a video streamed live by the arrestees’ brother went viral.

“A review of this incident by MBI officers and command staff has produced no evidence of criminal conduct on the part of the soldier throughout the encounter,” said MBI Director Lt. Col. Charles Haynes .

The brother’s video shows what many viewers considered excessive force used by a soldier, at one point appearing to use his knee to pin him down. “This is how George Floyd died,” shouts the brother, Packer Lewis, recording the incident.

Commissioner Sean Tindell commented: “While DPS and MHSP recognize and respect the right of citizens to observe and even record law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties, these rights are not not without limits. As you will see, this event is a prime example of how even a routine traffic stop can quickly turn into a dangerous situation for citizens and law enforcement when subjects resist arrest and when uninvolved people interfere.

The video released by authorities combines and syncs footage from the implicated soldier’s dashboard and cabin cameras with the phone video that has been widely shared on social media. The relevant events of August 5 are timestamped below, as follows: Trooper Hayden Falvey initiated a traffic stop on Eugene Lewis after observing Mr. Lewis on Delaware Avenue in McComb moving at high speed, passing vehicles on the right , not wearing a seatbelt and speeding through an intersection after the light turned from green to yellow.

[WARNING: The video embedded below is the dash cam footage from the trooper’s vehicle. Some scenes may be disturbing for some viewers]

Private Falvey pursued E. Lewis, eventually arresting him on Schmidt Road. This area is rural and sparsely populated. Approaching the vehicle of E. Lewis, Cavalier Falvey smelled a strong smell of burning marijuana coming from the vehicle. He noted that the eyes of E. Lewis were bloodshot and glassy and there was a strong smell of burnt marijuana on his breath. It was determined at that time that the driver’s license of E. Lewis had been suspended and was driving without liability insurance. E. Lewis admitted to Cavalier Falvey that there may have been a burnt marijuana cigarette, or “cockroach,” in his vehicle. [0:55]. He also admitted to smoking marijuana about 45 minutes to 1 hour before the traffic stop. [1:10].

Having developed probable cause that E. Lewis was driving his vehicle under the influence of marijuana and may be in possession of illegal narcotics, Cavalier Falvey placed E. Lewis in handcuffs and began to search his vehicle. [2:10]. During the search of the vehicle, Gary and Derrius Lewis arrived in a Dodge Charger, pulled over in the road, and got out of their vehicle. [14:45]. They identified themselves as the brothers of E. Lewis. [15:00]. Because he had no backup and was in an unpopulated area, Cavalier Falvey ordered G. Lewis and D. Lewis to return to their vehicle and leave the scene. This order was given for the safety of Cavalier Falvey and everyone involved. After initially protesting, G. Lewis and D. Lewis left the scene.

When Cavalier Falvey informed E. Lewis that he was under arrest and attempted to place and restrain him in the front passenger seat of Cavalier Falvey’s police cruiser, E. Lewis became belligerent and physically resisted. [16:45]. At this time, Cavalier Falvey radioed the Dispatch and requested assistance. [18:28]. Rider Falvey was still trying to get E. Lewis resisting into the cruiser and buckle it up when G. Lewis and D. Lewis returned to the scene, stopped again in the road, and got out of their vehicle again. [18:50]. Believing he had locked E. Lewis in the front seat of his cruiser, Cavalier Falvey advanced to the rear of the cruiser and again ordered G. Lewis and D. Lewis to return to their vehicle and to leave the premises. [19:06]. Unfortunately, E. Lewis had not been tied down, and he immediately got out of the vehicle and began yelling at Cavalier Falvey.

Lewis’s three men ignored Cavalier Falvey’s repeated orders to return to their respective vehicles (E. Lewis at police car). The three men continually shouted profanities at Cavalier Falvey and made it clear that they had no intention of following his orders. This put Rider Falvey in an untenable position and created a dangerous situation for all four men. Nonetheless, Cavalier Falvey never hit any of Lewis’s men or used any force beyond the necessary restraint techniques used on E. Lewis.

Eventually, another man pulled up to the scene. [21:00]. Keeping his distance, he asked Cavalier Falvey if he needed to call someone to come help him. [21:25]. Cavalier Falvey informed him that additional police were already on their way and asked the man to watch G. Lewis and D. Lewis and make sure they did not attack Cavalier Falvey from behind while he was working to put E. Lewis back in the police cruiser. . The man agreed, and Cavalier Falvey began his efforts to place E. Lewis back in the cruiser. E. Lewis physically resisted these efforts, causing E. Lewis and Cavalier Falvey to fall to the ground. [21:31]. Private Falvey immediately worked to secure E. Lewis with his knees and legs so that he (Falvey) would have access to the tools on his belt in case G. Lewis and/or D. Lewis approached him. Finally, E. Lewis indicated that he would gladly move to the cruiser. [24:13]. Rider Falvey helped E. Lewis to his feet and brought him back to the passenger side, front seat of the cruiser. E. Lewis again resisted Cavalier Falvey’s efforts to get him fully into the vehicle, but Falvey was eventually able to secure him with the vehicle’s seat belt. [24:40].

Once. Lewis was secured in the cruiser, Cavalier Falvey approached G. Lewis and D. Lewis, informing both men that they were under arrest. [25:15]. At this time, Cavalier Joshua Huhn arrived on the scene and assisted Cavalier Falvey in completing his arrests. [26:15]. Cavalier Falvey noticed that D. Lewis had a strong smell of intoxicating liquor on his breath and had difficulty speaking. D. Lewis admitted to drinking earlier but refused a preliminary breath test (“PBT”). G. Lewis was unable to produce a valid driver’s license and his vehicle tag was expired.

E. Lewis advised that he needed to go to the hospital. [30:27]. Cavalier Falvey immediately contacted the Dispatch again and requested an ambulance. [30:31]. E. Lewis began to thrash violently in the police cruiser and damage equipment in it. [30:55]. Paramedics eventually arrived on the scene, examined E. Lewis, and determined that 1) his vital signs were normal, 2) no injuries were observed, and 3) he was medically fit to be transported to prison.

In accordance with MHSP procedure, the three men were eventually transported to the county detention facility, Pike County Jail. Eugene Lewis has been charged with reckless driving, seat belt violation, traffic device violation, window tint violation, no proof of insurance, other 1st offense DUI, of resisting arrest and non-compliance. Gary Lewis was charged with two counts of obstructing a public highway, resisting arrest, non-compliance, failure to obtain a driver’s license upon request, seat belt violation, expired label, incorrectly displayed label and window tint violation. Derrius Lewis was charged with resisting arrest, disobeying, public drunkenness and disturbing the peace.

“A review of this incident by MBI officers and command staff has produced no evidence of criminal conduct on the part of the soldier throughout the encounter,” said MBI Director Lt. Col. Charles Haynes .

DPS and MHSP take all allegations of excessive force and other employee misconduct seriously. Such allegations will always be investigated and given due consideration. With the number of traffic stops and other interactions between law enforcement officers and members of the public that occur every day, unpleasant incidents are unfortunately inevitable. “MHSP’s internal review of this case found no evidence of excessive force,” said Lt. Col. Malachi Sanders, director of MHSP’s Enforcement Division. “All evidence indicates that Cavalier Falvey displayed exemplary patience, judgment and skill in ensuring the safety of all involved throughout what could easily have turned into a tragic incident.