CLARKSDALE, MS (abc24.com) - All possible charges have been dismissed against a Clarksdale officer accused of police brutality. Queston Skipper was arrested in April for disorderly conduct and refusal to comply.
"He (the officer) threw me into the car face first while in handcuffs and I hit the ground," said a battered and bruised Skipper in April, claiming he was abused by Clarksdale officer Jerry Rodgers. "I just want some justice so it won't happen to no one else."
Skipper filed assault charges, saying Rodgers beat him. A judge just ruled there's no probable cause to that claim and threw the case out of court, but Skipper's lawyer says his client never had a shot at justice.
"It was a travesty the way he presented this case," says attorney Ellis Pittman. He believes Kent Haney, the Coahoma County Attorney, didn't even try to represent his client.
In Mississippi, a judge had to rule there's enough evidence to charge the officer. Since it involves an arm of government, by law Pittman, Skipper's personal lawyer, could not represent him. The case was assigned to Haney.
Pittman says Haney treated the hearing like a joke. "He (Haney) sat there and played with his iPhone during the trial. I sat there and watched."
Pittman says he gave Haney all the information he's using to represent Skipper in his civil case, including injury photographs, medical bills and witness contact information. Pittman says it was all ignored.
"At the end he (Haney) asked Queston 'Where are your witnesses at?' Well it's the prosecuting attorney's job to subpoena witnesses. Queston can't get subpoenas for anybody."
When asked about the case, Haney denied not taking it seriously. "I don't know about that. We take all our cases seriously," he said. When pressed about why witnesses weren't called, Haney couldn't get off the phone fast enough. "I have no further comment. That's all I can say on the case. Thank you," he said then hung up.
Pittman doesn't blame the court. "The circuit judge made the only ruling he could based on the evidence presented," he says. But he remains convinced Haney should be made to answer for the verdict.
A judge has yet to rule on Skipper's criminal charges; that will likely happen in the next month.
His civil case against the police department, in which Pittman is representing him, will be heard in federal court probably sometime next year.