MCCOMB, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) have completed an investigation into a recent viral video of a MHP trooper arresting a man in McComb. The agencies believe there’s no evidence of criminal conduct by the trooper.
The agencies released a more than 39 minute-long video of the incident that was shot from the trooper’s dash and in-cab cameras. According to agency officials, the following is the timeline of events in the video:
- On Friday, August 5, Trooper Hayden Falvey stopped Eugene Lewis on Schmidt Road in McComb for a traffic stop. He stopped Eugene for speeding through a light after it had turned from green to yellow, not wearing a seatbelt and passing vehicles on the right.
- Falvey said he smelled marijuana coming from Eugene’s car and on his breath. He said Eugene’s driver’s license was suspended and that he was driving without liability insurance. Eugene admitted to Falvey that there may be a burnt marijuana cigarette in his car. He also admitted that he smoked marijuana about 45 minutes to an hour before the traffic stop.
- Falvey put him in handcuffs and began searching his car. Gary and Derrius Lewis, who identified themselves as Eugene’s brothers, drove up to the scene. Falvey told them to leave because he had no backup and they were in an unpopulated area. The brothers left the scene.
- When Falvey told Eugene that he was under arrest and tried to put him in the police cruiser, Eugene “became belligerent.” Falvey radioed dispatch and requested assistance. Falvey thought he had buckled Eugene into the car.
- Eugene’s brothers came back to the scene and got out of their car. Falvey walked to the back of the cruiser to tell the brothers to leave. At that time, Eugene got out of the cruiser and started shouting at Falvey.
- Eugene resisted when Falvey tried to get him back in the cruiser, which caused both of them to fall. Falvey tried to secure Eugene with his knees and legs so his hands would be free if his brothers tried to approach him.
- Eugene indicated that he would willingly get back into the cruiser. Falvey helped Eugene get to his feet and to the cruiser. Eugene began resisting when Falvey tried to fully put him in the cruiser. Falvey buckled him in.
- Eugene indicated that he needed to go to a hospital. Falvey requested an ambulance. Paramedics arrived and determined that Eugene’s vital signs were normal, no injuries were observed and he was medically clear to be taken to jail.
- Falvey then told both brothers that they were under arrest. He said Derrius was slurring his speech and his breath smelled of an intoxicating beverage. Derrius admitted to drinking earlier, but refused a preliminary breath test.
Eugene Lewis was charged with careless driving, seatbelt violation, disregard for traffic device, window tint violation, no proof of insurance, DUI 1st offense, resisting arrest and failure to comply.
Gary Lewis was charged with two counts of obstructing a public street, resisting arrest, failure to comply, no driver’s license on demand, seatbelt violation, expired tag, improperly displayed tag and window tint violation.
Derrius Lewis was charged with resisting arrest, failure to comply, public drunkenness and disturbing the peace.
“MHSP’s internal review of this matter revealed no evidence of excessive force. All evidence indicates that Trooper Falvey demonstrated exemplary patience, judgement and skill in maintaining the safety of all involved throughout what could have easily become a tragic incident,” said Lt. Col. Malachi Sanders, Director of the MHSP Enforcement Division.
DPS Commissioner Sean Tindell said he is proud of the trooper, and that he was just protecting himself in a dangerous situation.