Two Mississippi police officers were terminated by the Laurel Police Department (LPD) for beating 36-year-old James Barnett last week.
Fox 19 reports that on May 16 Barnett turned around from a police checkpoint in Jasper County. A short chase transpired and Barnett eventually pulled over as the officers approached his car with their guns drawn.
The two officers who haven't been identified told Barnett to get down on the ground but when he did, the officers began beating and kicking Barnett in the head and face with steel-toe boots. The officers then arrested and charged Barnett with resisting arrest and driving on a suspended license.
But, Laurel Police Captain Tommy Cox says it became apparent to supervisors on duty that there was a problem with the way the arrest occurred, and the officers were fired on May 17.
Barnett claims that he never fought back. Barnett also said he feels the attack was racially motivated, and he feared for his life at the hands of the officers. The photos show one side of his face swollen and red with scratches and bruises all over.
The LPD released a statement saying:
“The Officers and Administration of LPD take these types of allegations very seriously. It should be noted that the [internal affairs investigation] was initiated only hours after the incident occurred before any media attention, social media posts or even a formal complaint from the individual involved.”