The FBI is investigating a physical confrontation at last Saturday’s football game involving a football fan and officers of the University of Mississippi police department.
A video posted on the Internet appears to show Chris Barnes, an Ole Miss student at the game, scuffling with two or three police officers. Holly Barnes, a registered nurse and wife of Chris Barnes, posted the video in which it appears that a police officer or officers struck her husband. She also posted a still photograph showing Chris Barnes with extensive facial injuries, which she says were inflicted by police officers.
Barnes, a National Guardsman who served with the U.S. Army in Iraq, was taken into custody and released about four hours later. Holly Barnes claimed in her Facebook posts that Chris Barnes did not receive medical attention while in police custody, and that he saw a physician at his own initiative after the police arrested him. Barnes is said to have suffered a concussion, fractures to the bones of his eye socket, and other injuries. Apparently the FBI is trying to determine when and where Barnes received the injuries, whether at the stadium or at some other time and place while in custody.
Brock White, an officer with the New Albany Police Department (NAPD), is identifiable in the video as one of the officers confronting Barnes. White was not on duty with the NAPD, and at the time of the confrontation in the stadium he was employed by the Ole Miss police department. A statement from the university’s police says their department employs qualified officers from other jurisdiction to provide security during games.
NAPD Officer Brock White has been placed on paid administrative leave.
New Albany Police Chief Chris Robertson released a statement Monday afternoon which says:
“I have been informed by the University of Mississippi Police Department that they are investigating an incident said to have involved a New Albany police officer at the football game on Saturday. The officer was not on duty with our department on Saturday and was employed at the time by the University’s police department. I have no direct knowledge of what happened there and make no judgment about it one way or the other at this time.
“The officer has been placed on administrative leave with pay for the time being. We will review the matter as more information becomes available. Any inquiries about the investigation of the incident should be directed to the University of Mississippi.”
As of Monday evening the video Holly Barnes posted on Facebook had received 702,000 views. At least two national news organizations have carried the story, as has the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom.
For more information, see: Ole Miss Police investigate New Albany officer