HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Loren Smith said she’s furious about the way her brother was treated by Hattiesburg police when he seemed to have a medical episode during a traffic stop.
According to Smith, her brother, Lester, took their parents’ car from Pike County, and his dad filed a police report. The filing of the report led to a traffic stop in Hattiesburg.
A 14 minute video captured and shared on Facebook thousands of times was shocking to Smith.
“The things that we – I saw in that video, I feel that wasn’t the best way to handle things, and I just feel disappointed,” she stated.
The beginning of the video appeared to show Lester complying with officers. Lea Campbell, a witness, said things took a turn when a second officer arrived, and Lester was put in the back of the officer’s patrol car.
“The door was open, but I could see the man’s feet dangling between the door. And his feet began to convulse, and he began to shake in a really alarming way,” said Campbell.
Campbell is a nurse and said the officers didn’t seem to take the situation seriously.
“I was really concerned at the time because as a medical professional I couldn’t see if his chest was rising and falling, and at no time did I see them taking a pulse. They were just kind of standing around really casual talking to each other.”
Morris Mock also witnessed the incident. He said he questions the lack of urgency.
“The ambulance was a bit late,” Mock stated. “You have four police officers show up before an ambulance?”
He said Hattiesburg police showed a lack of empathy for Lester and need to reevaluate protocol.
The department released the following statement on social media:
Smith said she wants to see the body camera video of the incident, and she wants to know if her brother is okay.
“I’m just trying to find him, and I need to know where he’s at. I need to find him, and I need to know where he’s at. Does he have internal bleeding? Did he hit his head? Is he okay?”