A police officer from Vicksburg, Mississippi was temporarily suspended and ordered to take an anger management class after a video surfaced of him forcefully kneeling on a man’s back.
Officer Eddie Colbert is facing a 15-day suspension without pay and 45-day probation. He then will be required to attend the anger management classes once he returns to work, The Vicksburg Post reported.
The incident occurred Sunday when Colbert and five other officers were called to a disturbance in downtown Vicksburg. The video, originally posted to Facebook and shared with Jackson’s 16 WAPT News, shows Colbert throwing the suspect, John Dolley, to the ground. After Dolley appeared to say something to him, Colbert knelt on his back as another officer handcuffed him.
Dolley was charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, both misdemeanors. He is currently out on bond.
Police told the news station that the other officers on the scene received one-day suspensions. Vicksburg Police Department Chief Penny Jones said that Colbert’s suspension was originally supposed to be with pay before being changed to unpaid.
Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. met with Jones and the police department’s three deputy chiefs in an executive session to discuss the incident, the Post reported. Flaggs said they reviewed the video from the incident as well as testimony from Colbert. They also took into account the recommendations of an investigative committee led by Jones.
“The behavior of the officer was indefensible, in my opinion, but it did not rise to a level of termination,” Flaggs said after the meeting. “There was an opportunity where [Dolley] could have been arrested way before Officer Colbert arrived.”
The mayor urged anyone with additional video from that day to submit it to the Vicksburg Police Department, adding that the department is reviewing social media videos as well as body camera footage.
Though these details about the incident have not been confirmed, an anonymous source told WLBT News that the altercation occurred Christmas night at a bar called Upper End. Jones told the Jackson news station that it is unclear what caused the incident and that Colbert went into action when other officers could not get the situation under control.
Flaggs said both Colbert and Dolley are Black.
News outlets reported Colbert was shot in the face in December 2020 while working as a security guard at a nightclub in Jackson.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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