A video depicting the arrest of a local man by two law enforcement agents sparked controversy on social media, with many viewers finding the video disturbing.
On Wednesday, Jan. 18, according to a Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department press release, an LCSD “plain clothes” deputy and an Oxford Police Department officer arrested Jerami Tubbs, 42, of Lafayette County after a physical struggle. The video, which shows only part of the arrest, quickly found its way to social media in the following days.
In the video, Tubbs can be seen lying on the ground outside the Marathon gas station on South Lamar Street while the two officers hold him down. The sheriff’s deputy appears to lean on Tubbs’ neck with his knee while punching him multiple times.
On Jan. 20, the LCSD released a statement on Facebook stating, “We are thankful the officers nor Tubbs were injured during the arrest.”
Tubbs was initially stopped by the sheriff’s deputy for a traffic violation committed on a Gold Wing motorcycle. They were then joined by the OPD officer for backup. The deputy, according to the release, knew Tubbs as a convicted felon from previous interactions in which he was in possession of weapons.
The release further states that the officers informed Tubbs that he would be patted down, resulting in the suspect “becoming argumentative and acting very out of character from past experiences.”
Tubbs then pushed the deputy and attempted to run away, before the deputy grabbed him and the pair “fell to the ground,” the release states. Tubbs was still wearing his protective helmet from the motorcycle. According to the release, a gun fell from his waistband during the struggle.
The video, filmed and posted initially on Snapchat, rapidly made its way to other social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. It begins with Tubbs and the deputy on the ground, the deputy kneeling with his weight on the suspect as the backup officer pushes a gun away from Tubbs. The video is more than 20 seconds long, and depicts the deputy with his knee on Tubbs’ neck and striking him.
“The brief struggle, between the deputy and Tubbs, continued until the officers were able to gain control and place him in handcuffs,” the press release said.
After the officers handcuffed the suspect, they searched his motorcycle and discovered what the department believes to be a large quantity of methamphetamine.
Tubbs has been charged with speeding, not using a turn signal, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and possession of a schedule II substance with intent to distribute while in possession of a firearm.
Because he was out on bond for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a controlled substance, Tubbs’ bond was revoked. He is currently awaiting further court proceedings in the Lafayette County Jail.
The Daily Mississippian reached out to the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department with questions about accreditation and internal standards regarding use of force, but were unable to receive a response prior to publication.