Ole Miss police investigate incident involving New Albany officer

November 23rd, 2015     General News

The University of Mississippi campus police department is investigating an incident, Saturday, Nov. 21, that involved a New Albany police officer.

A video posted online appears to show off-duty New Albany police officer Brock White involved in a fracas with a fan near the end of the football game in which Ole Miss defeated LSU. The story has been widely reported by state and regional news organizations.

White was not on duty with the New Albany Police Department, but was employed by the university to work security during the game.

Oxford resident Holly Barnes alleges in a Facebook post that her husband, Chris Barnes, was struck in the face by a police officer or police officers. Her post says her husband was “wrongfully assaulted” and hit “twice in the face.” She also posted a photograph of Chris Barnes said to have been taken following the incident.

New Albany Chief of Police Chris Robertson told NAnewsweb.com Sunday evening that he had no direct knowledge of the incident. “I’ve had a courtesy call from the chief of the university police department in which he told me they are investigating the incident, ” said Robertson.

The Ole Miss police department released the following statement:

“The University of Mississippi Police Department is aware of the video of an incident taking place at the Ole Miss-LSU football game. The officers involved are not officers with the University Police Department, but are certified officers from other jurisdictions hired to work security at home football games. The University of Mississippi Police Department takes this situation seriously, and is currently investigating the incident. We encourage anyone that witnessed the event to contact the department at 662-915-7234 or email us at upd@olemiss.edu.”

The video posted by Holly Barnes has “gone viral,” meaning it is being viewed and “shared” by increasing numbers of Facebook visitors. One account said the video had been viewed more than half-a-million times by late night Sunday.

Hundreds of comments have been posted by Facebook users giving opinions about the incident and alleging behavior by Barnes, White and other security personnel. Facebook is not a news organization, and Facebook posts are an excellent demonstration of Edgar Allen Poe’s line: “Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.”

The sentence occurs in Poe’s short story “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether.”

NAnewsweb.com will inform its readers when the results of the investigation by the Ole Miss police department are announced.

Here is the link to the  Facebook posting by Holly Barnes including the video: https://www.facebook.com/100006088275873/videos/1713919145487678/

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