TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Three former police officers who were indicted by a Mississippi grand jury joked around about a Black man who died in their custody, with one of them questioning whether to call an ambulance for the man immediately, body-camera footage shows.
Officials in the state capital of Jackson announced Wednesday that a Mississippi grand jury had indicted two former police officers on murder charges and another ex-officer on a manslaughter charge in the death of Keith Murriel, who is seen on video being pinned down and repeatedly shocked with stun guns during a New Year’s Eve arrest. The city released hours of body-camera footage detailing the encounter, which The Associated Press reviewed.
The officers had tackled Murriel while arresting him for allegedly trespassing at a hotel after they asked him to leave the building’s parking lot. The footage showed then-officers Avery Willis, Kenya McCarty and James Land struggling to handcuff Murriel as he was stunned numerous times for over 10 minutes.
After officers handcuffed Murriel, they placed him horizontally in the back of a patrol car. Seventeen minutes of the hour-long body-camera footage shows officers trying to place Murriel inside the vehicle. The remaining 43 minutes of the footage don’t show paramedics arriving or the officers checking on Murriel to see if he needed immediate medical aid. The footage is broken up into multiple clips, and it is unclear whether officers attended to Murriel off-camera.
What is clear is that during that 43-minute period, the officers joked around about the encounter.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said at Wednesday’s news conference that the city was now releasing body-camera footage because a Mississippi Bureau of Investigation probe of the death had been completed. The officers — all ex-members of the Jackson Police Department — were indicted on May 12.
All three officers were placed on administrative leave after the incident. McCarty was fired in February, and Willis and Land in April.