September 17, 2021

DOJ, FBI investigating after video shows Marshals task force officer striking murder suspect

Therese Apel

USMS

A Ring camera video sent to a local TV station in Jackson shows a member of a Marshals task force striking a suspect in the face while handcuffed, and the Marshals have opened an investigation.

WLBT’s Chris Fields posted the video to Facebook Thursday, igniting a firestorm on social media. The video shows a task force officer leading a suspect out of a house, and as they walk past another officer, he hits the handcuffed suspect in the face, knocking him to the ground.

In the background, other task force officers are struggling with another suspect.

According to reports, the Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the incident. They released a statement on Friday afternoon.

“The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, United States Attorney Office and the FBI have opened an investigation, and if the investigation reveals prosecutable violations of any federal criminal statutes, the Department will take appropriate action.”

Reportedly the suspects were being arrested for involvement in an August shooting in Canton that left Tracy Wilder, 42, and Jeison Elias Ramon Lopez, 6, dead. Wilder was changing the oil in a woman’s car when the shooting occurred. Jeison was sitting in the back of his mother’s car. The violence led Canton Mayor William Truly to impose a two-week curfew in Canton.

Jeison Elias Ramon Lopez, 6, and Tracy Wilder, 42, were both killed by stray gunfire at a Canton gas station in August

The U.S. Marshals have not commented on the situation, but released a statement regarding the investigation.

The U.S. Marshals Service is aware of an incident that occurred this morning involving members of our multi-agency Gulf Coast Regional Task Force (GCRTF) in Mississippi. We take any allegation of misconduct by our personnel or task force partners seriously and we are currently gathering information regarding the incident.

Fields’ story gave witness accounts of the task force showing up early in the morning while family members were in bed to serve the warrant, which is common.

The GCRTF is made up of officers from federal, state, and local agencies. None of the agencies the officers in the videos are affiliated with have been released.

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