Family of man allegedly beaten by Mississippi police officers describe incident
“I begged them not to do that to him. But they weren’t even done.”
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Four Jackson police officers are on administrative leave after a woman says her son was brutally beaten on Valentine’s Day. Mario Clark, age 31, died six days later from his injuries.
While Jackson police were working two homicide scenes the night of Feb. 14th, Sheila Ragland was calling 911 to request help for her son.
“I called 911 because I knew he was going off a little bit. Mario was starting to say he was God and stuff.”
She said she told the dispatcher that her son was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic and was having an episode and needed to be transported to a hospital.
“I said please don’t send me no officers over here that’s going to hurt my child. I asked them to come in and help me with my baby and they came in but they came in strong,” she said.
Ragland said it was a while before an ambulance arrived.
“You know, it was just like... He needed help right then,” she said while clenching her fists.
Ragland said that instead of helping the situation, the officers made things worse.
“They came over here and got him and picked him up and threw him on this couch," she said as she demonstrated what happened.
“They put the handcuffs on the back of his feet and this man, this one police officer that was behind, he started beating him on his legs after he had put the handcuffs on there.”
Clarks’ girlfriend, Crystal, added that he was face down on the floor with his ankles and wrists handcuffed behind him.
Ragland then referenced two pictures of Clark in the hospital. On his face are what appear to be rug burns. Still on the ground and cuffed, she said officers continued to kick him and hit him in the head.
“I begged them not to do that to him. But they weren’t done,” Ragland said.
That’s when she said everything got quiet for a while.
“I took a pillow off my couch over there and laid my baby right there, and he had the handcuffs on his feet and his hand behinds his back. They were all standing around here,” she said.
That’s when an EMT walked in.
“My baby was on the floor, on the pillow, and I was rubbing his head.”
The EMT left she said, and came back about 10 minutes later.
“They pulled his pants down and she gave him two shots. And when she gave my baby them two shots, five seconds later I told her my kids he was not breathing,” Ragland said before a long pause.
Clark was taken to the hospital and placed on life support. Six days after he arrived at the hospital, Ragland was given the news that no mother wants to hear. News that she already expected.
"I already knew my baby was dead. My baby died in this house. Right here."
Ragland said doctors told her that Mario had died from blunt force trauma to the head.
"That was my joy and everybody that knows Sheila knows that Mario was my joy,” she said with her head bowed and tears in her eyes.
WLBT won’t know the official cause of death until the coroner’s report is released.
Clark was scheduled to start a new job at Nissan on Tuesday. He leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter.
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