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Byhalia Police Department dividing citizens over video showing officers struggle to detain woman

Byhalia Police said they likely won't have any records of the incident available for seven days.

BYHALIA, Miss — As questions grow over a video circulating online of an incident between the Byhalia, Mississippi, Police Department and a resident of the city, a witness is speaking out.

The nearly eight-minute-long video shows four police officers working to handcuff a woman, even using a stun-gun to detain her. The man who recorded it said he only pulled his phone out for her safety.

“I really posted it for her safety to be honest with you,” the man said. The witness asked ABC24 not to show his face out of fear of retaliation.

“I just wanted to make sure that everything was going to go accordingly,” he said.

Before he decided to take the video down, it had more than 100 shares and plenty of reaction from the community.

“You don’t know what could’ve happened,” he said. “They could’ve just instantly kicked your head a little bit … she could’ve been pregnant, nobody knows. So, I did it to protect her own safety. That’s the only reason that I started to record and I’ll do that for anybody.”

The Byhalia Police Department also responded to the video. They posted the statement below on Facebook, writing the incident began with a “routine traffic stop” and the video only shows “part of the incident.” The department also accused the woman of possessing crystal meth.

The post goes on to say “given how she was acting, [she] was already high at the time of the traffic stop.”

Credit: Byhalia Police Department

This post has since been deleted and no further information regarding the video or the traffic stop has been posted on the Byhalia Police Department Facebook page.

“It just hurt my heart a little bit and I’m just glad I was there to do the right thing,” he said.

ABC24 went to the Byhalia Police Department on January 19th. Despite the chief of police being on duty and at the station at the time, a staff member said he was not going to offer any further comment. In an attempt to request a record of any arrest or incident, the staff member said the police record likely won’t be ready for seven days.

We spoke with a sheriff’s department nearby about how normal this wait-time is and they said most police departments can have those documents ready the next day. However, if they don’t want to release the information for whatever reason, it could take more than a week to get everything in order.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations responded in an email to ABC24 saying they are not working an investigation of Byhalia Police Department. As we have more information, this article will be updated.

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