Even after seeing a disturbingly graphic photo of injuries sustained by a Black man during an arrest during after a traffic stop in earlier this month, a Mississippi sheriff was defending his white officers against accusations they severely beat the suspect.
David Logan, 28, was pulled over at a police checkpoint in the town of Water Valley on July 18. Logan’s attorney Carlos Moore said his client was instructed to get out of the car, but when he did, his actions were interpreted as trying to flee.
“[Logan] stepped out of the car in the opposite direction of the officer,” Moore claimed. “He said he was not running, and they assumed he was about to flee and they attacked him, both officers with the Water Valley Police Department and the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department.”
Moore went on to say that Logan, who was unarmed, was thrown to the concrete, tasered and attacked. He also said the officers beat Logan while he was handcuffed, punching and hitting him over the eye with a flashlight multiple times. After Logan was taken into custody, he had to be treated at two hospitals because of a broken bone near his left eye.
“He has a fractured eye orbital, he has double vision now and he has to see a plastic surgeon. He was never booked. He was taken to the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department to be cleaned up some,” Moore said. “The blood was removed before he was taken by the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford. The staff there did everything they could for him, but he was in such bad shape that Baptist sent him by ambulance to The Med in Memphis, a level one trauma center.”
A picture Moore released of Logan showed him handcuffed with his bloody left eye swollen shut following his arrest.
The Yalobusha County Sheriff Lance Humphreys released a statement to the Associated Press denying his officers did any wrongdoing.
“That’s not even close to what happened,” he said of Moore’s statements.
Humphreys claimed that when Logan exited his vehicle, he ran toward the officers and tried to ram through them to flee. He went on to say that Logan was tasered and arrested, but none of his officers beat him. That claim was in spite of the damning photo. There were apparently no body cameras either being worn or activated.
None of the cops involved was placed on administrative leave, but Humphreys said one officer was placed on desk duty due to an injury he sustained during the confrontation and would have to have surgery. Another officer allegedly suffered injuries to his leg ligaments.
Though Logan was charged with possession of the controlled substance ecstasy, two counts of assault on an officer, one count of resisting arrest and one count of possessing drug paraphernalia, a grand jury has to decide whether to indict him.
In the meantime, Moore said he and Logan will be moving forward with their case against the departments involved on Wednesday.
“On Wednesday, I will be submitting notices of claim to both Yalobusha County and Water Valley to notify them of the claims of Mr. Logan against them and the officers,” Moore said. “I will require 90 days before we file a federal estate lawsuit against both entities and the officers responsible for this brutal attack.”