‘I... want the story straight’: Former MHP trooper defends his actions in video
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The off duty Mississippi Highway Patrol officer who was recorded striking a man he detained is speaking out about the incident.
Last week WLBT aired the portion of the video we received from a viewer. Jonathan Steed talks about what he and other witnesses said happened before the video started.
“I just definitely want the story straight, because I don’t look for trouble,” said Steed.
The former MHP trooper was thrust into the spotlight when a viewer captured video of him striking a man he detained. The 30-year-old was off duty in the drive-thru at Wendy’s in Koscuisko when he said he witnessed a man inside a vehicle beating an elderly woman.
“I jump out, and I run over there. I open the passenger side door. He’s still attacking her,” said Steed. “I attempt to physically pull him off of her. He turns around and he’s belligerent towards me and comes at me in a threatening manner.”
The man has been identified by law enforcement as 55-year-old Greg Taylor. His nose appears to have been bloodied before he was removed from the car.
The woman in the vehicle is his mother.
Steed said while patting Taylor down he made threats and would not remain still.
“My issue with the footage that was initially aired was it sort of portrayed law enforcement in a bad light. As if we’re abusing our authority, and that’s totally not the case,” said the former officer.
Taylor was charged with simple assault causing bodily harm and is being held in the Leake County Detention Center. Leake County Sheriff Randy Atkinson said Taylor has an extensive arrest record including public drunk and abusing 911.
Reaction to the video ranged from support to outrage. Many viewers, who said they saw the man attacking his mother, condemned the coverage.
Steed, a father of four, has resigned from the force and works full time at his business A Cut Above Tree Service.
“Honestly, in today’s society, I appreciate the men and women that serve, but it’s not worth it,” added Steed.
The Kosciousko native served as a State Trooper for two and a half years. Steed said he considered himself a good officer who never intentionally did anything wrong. He said he would do it all again to protect the vulnerable.
His message to the media and the public is that not all law enforcement officers are bad and video should be investigated before it is aired.
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