Witness video shows moments leading up to a man’s death in JPD custody

Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 10:19 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Tomorrow will mark six weeks since the Jackson Police chief released a controversial statement, saying a man who died in police custody experienced a “medical emergency.”

While the chief hasn’t said a word since his statement, the mayor continues to speak out on the issue.

WLBT obtained video from an individual who didn’t want to be identified, showing some of 41-year-old Keith Murriel’s final moments on New Year’s Eve.

In the video, you can hear the sound of a taser followed by a scream.

As disturbing as the video is, Attorney Darryl Washington, who is representing Murriel’s family, maintains that it doesn’t even compare to the body camera footage.

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba says he sent a letter to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation on January 31st, requesting that the agency release the footage but still hasn’t heard back.

Monday, I asked the mayor why he can’t get the video from JPD since they were the responding agency.

“We asked that [MBI] release it because they are the ones that are in control of the investigation, and to avoid being accused of hindering prosecution, to avoid being accused of creating some complication in the investigation, we asked that they do so,” he said.

To WLBT’s knowledge, MBI has never released body camera footage in the midst of an investigation, and if that continues to be the case this time around, Lumumba says he will talk with the city attorney to see what options his administration can pursue.

As for JPD’s Chief James Davis, he has stayed silent on the matter since his statement on January 3rd that said Murriel experienced a medical emergency while in custody.

Monday, I also asked Lumumba if he thinks the chief released that statement before reviewing the body camera footage.

“I certainly wasn’t with the chief in that moment in time, and so I don’t know what he had available to him at that time or if he had the opportunity to view it before he communicated,” the mayor responded.

I had hoped to ask the chief that very same question, but he told me over the phone Monday that he had no comment whatsoever relating to Murriel’s in-custody death.

Last week, WLBT reported that one of the three officers who arrested Murriel outside this hotel on New Year’s Eve was fired.

It’s still unclear if her termination was directly related to her handling of Murriel’s arrest, and the mayor couldn’t comment on the status of the other two officers.

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