Meridian, MS — A Meridian police officer has been fired after he was accused of using excessive force against a handcuffed man in the parking lot of a Walmart. This week, Police Chief Benny Dubose released the dash cam footage of the incident in the name of transparency.
The dash cam was released by the department to show why they fired officer Daniel Starks this week. The disturbing video shows the danger people are put in when dealing with police officers who lose their temper and become violent.
The incident began as police were responding to a call of a suspected shoplifter at Walmart. As the officer pulled the suspect over as he pulled out of the Walmart, the man complied without incident.
The first officer's dash cam shows him speeding across the parking lot to catch the man driving away. The man then pulls over as the officer rushes his vehicle with his gun drawn. As soon as the man complies, however, the initial officer puts his gun away and the suspect allowed himself to be handcuffed.
According to Chief Dubose, up until this point, all proper protocols were followed. However, when Starks showed up, the otherwise contained situation turned violent thanks to this loose cannon cop.
As the initial officer handcuffed the suspect, Starks ran up to him and hit him in the face. Not only was this an act of assault but it also put the other officer in danger as the suspect could've potentially broken free while being handcuffed.
In spite of being hit in the face while being handcuffed, the man remained calm and did not resist in any way. This did not stop officer Starks however, who was so filled with rage that he accidentally threw his taser the the ground while pulling it out of the holster.
Starks then picked up the taser and drive-stunned the suspect in his back while he was handcuffed and completely compliant. The innocent until proven guilty suspect then collapsed in pain to the ground.
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The entire time, not one of the officers—who were witnessing their fellow officer commit multiple felonies—attempted to stop the torture and assault of a handcuffed man.
“It’s not something I’m proud of that’s connecting to the police department. By no means. I know it’s going to be a lot of feedback and a lot of negative feedback,” said Chief Dubose.
Indeed, any time a police officer is seen torturing a handcuffed man in broad daylight, while hellow officers sit back and doing nothing, there should undoubtedly be negative feedback.
"We attempt to be as transparent as we can. We tell the public what we will tolerate, what we will not tolerate and that's basically what it boils down to. We have nothing to hide," said Dubose.
“To let this particular act or anything like it just go away or get swept under the rug, that’s not acceptable. To not just this department, but as far as I’m concerned, all law enforcement agencies,” said Chief Dubose.
However, the chief did let it go. In spite of being fired, Starks hasn't faced any other consequences. He was not charged for assaulting, torturing, and oppressing a non-resisting handcuffed human being in the parking lot of a Walmart. He will likely become a gypsy cop, get hired on at another department and may even kill an unarmed person one day.
If you'd like to peacefully let the Meridian police department know how you feel about simply firing this officer and refusing to charge him with the crimes he was seen on video committing, you can do so by emailing the chief at [email protected] or calling him at 601.485.1842.