DPS releases video after family alleged ‘violent behavior’ of state trooper in McComb

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 5:15 PM CDT
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McCOMB, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Department of Public Safety has released dashcam footage of an incident involving a state trooper that occurred in McComb, Mississippi, on August 5.

This after a video of the incident went viral, with the family claiming “violent behavior” on the trooper’s part.

The nearly 40 minutes of footage released by MPS combines and synchronizes video from the trooper’s dash and in-cab cameras with the phone video that has now gone viral.

The family of those arrested told WLBT earlier this week that they were left shaken and in disbelief after the encounter, which involved three brothers and the state trooper.

One brother was being arrested while his two other brothers witnessed the arrest. All three were eventually arrested.

Below is a recounting of events by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety

The list of events, as concluded by DPS, was placed under the header, “Vehicle Camera Footage Clears Trooper in McComb Incident.”

The recounting of events begins as follows:

Trooper Hayden Falvey initiated a traffic stop on Eugene Lewis after spotting Lewis in McComb traveling “at a high rate of speed” and not wearing a seatbelt. He was soon stopped, with the trooper smelling a “strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.”

Lewis admitted to Falvey that there may be a marijuana cigarette, or a “roach,” in his vehicle.

Having developed probable cause, Falvey placed Lewis in handcuffs and began searching his vehicle.

During the vehicle search, Lewis’ brothers, Gary and Derrius, drove up, stopped in the road, and exited their vehicle.

“Because he had no backup and was in an unpopulated area, Trooper Falvey directed G. Lewis and D. Lewis to return to their vehicle and leave the scene,” MPS stated. “This order was given for the safety of Trooper Falvey and all involved. After initially protesting, G. Lewis and D. Lewis left the scene.”

When Falvey told Lewis that he was under arrest, Lewis “became belligerent and physically resisted.”

Falvey was still trying to place Lewis into the cruiser and buckle him in when the brothers returned to the scene.

While telling the brothers to leave the area, Lewis exited the cruiser and began shouting at Falvey.

“All three Lewis men ignored repeated commands by Trooper Falvey to return to their respective vehicles (E. Lewis to the police cruiser),” the report states. “All three men continuously shouted expletives at Trooper Falvey and made it clear that they had no intention of following his commands. This placed Trooper Falvey in an untenable position and created a dangerous situation for all four men.”

Eventually, however, another man pulled up to the scene and asked Falvey if he needed to call someone to come assist. Falvey told him police were on the way and asked the man to watch the brothers and to make sure that they did not attack him from behind while he worked to place Lewis back in the cruiser.

Later, Lewis would, again, resist arrest, but Falvey was ultimately able to secure him with the vehicle’s seatbelt.

While Falvey told the brothers that they too were under arrest, Lewis began thrashing around in the police cruiser and damaging equipment.

Paramedics ultimately arrived on the scene, examined Lewis and determined that:

1). His vital signs were normal

2). No injuries were observed

3). He was medically clear to be transported to jail

Eugene Lewis was charged with careless driving, seatbelt violation, disregard for traffic device, window tint violation, no proof of insurance, DUI other 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,” said Lt. Col. Malachi Sanders, Director of the MHSP Enforcement Division. “All evidence indicates that Trooper Falvey demonstrated exemplary patience, judgment and skill in maintaining the safety of all involved throughout what could have easily become a tragic incident.”

Governor Tate Reeves says the incident is a “prime example of bad actors in the media (and social media) making judgments based on politics and half-truths—without all the facts.”

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