A Black couple is accusing two Mississippi Highway Patrol troopers of using excessive force in front of a child after a traffic stop led to one trooper slamming a pregnant woman against a car and wrestling a man to the ground.
Porsha Shields recorded on video the initial encounter July 12 between her fiancé Robert Morton and trooper Brandon Berry, Keyzz Entertainment Television reported Monday.
When the video began, both of Morton’s hands were on the trunk of a car, Shields was asking the trooper why this was happening and Barry was resting one hand on Morton’s back.
“You are making it worst,” Berry said.
“I’m trying to understand why you got me like this,” Morton told the trooper.
He said he had stopped Morton along with another car for speeding.
“I pulled you over at 101. I had him at 90,” Berry said. “I was trying to pull both of y’all over.”
But Morton said when he initially asked the trooper why he was being pulled over, Berry asked him to provide license and registration first.
Morton said he was getting his license when the deputy asked him to get out of the car and Morton complied.
“I stepped out the car. That’s all,” Morton said. “That’s all.”
Berry, however, said the man didn’t comply when he was out of the car and the trooper asked for his hands so that he could handcuff him.
Morton can be seen on video saying his hands have been “right here in the air.”
“Yeah, and every time I try to put you in handcuffs, you pull them off,” Berry said.
The two went back and forth a few times on video before Berry told Morton he was being detained.
“Put your hands behind your back,” Berry said.
“For what,” Morton asked. “I’m not getting arrested.”
Berry told Morton he was being arrested for resisting, and the trooper tried handcuffing the man at least eight times before Morton yanked away and Barry took out his gun.
“Get on the f—ing ground,” Berry said in the video. “Get on the ground. Get on the ground. Get on the ground.”
Morton can be seen on video standing with his arms crossed, and Berry asked for Morton’s license.
“Now you want the license. You want him to get on the ground,” Shields can be heard screaming off camera. “What do you want him to do?”
The video showed the two men at a standstill when another patrol car pulled up on the scene and a trooper got out.
The trooper, who Keyzz Entertainment Television identified as James Scott, walked up to Morton and grabbed his neck.
“Put your f—ing hands behind your back,” Scott said.
The two troopers then wrestled Morton to the ground with Shields repeatedly screaming that they didn’t have to do that.
“Y’all supposed to be out here protecting us,” she said. “Y’all sitting up here showing your g—— a–.”
Shields told Keyzz Entertainment Television that the video doesn’t show how she was apprehended.
She told the media company Scott choked and slammed her against a vehicle even though she explained she was pregnant.
“I truly felt that I should have never told him I was pregnant because it seemed like he became more aggressive,” she said. “And, what hurts the most is knowing that my 4-year-old son witnessed me screaming, crying and getting assaulted as this event will psychologically impact us forever.”
Both Morton and Shields were arrested in the incident and released a few hours later, according to Clay County jail.
Morton was charged with two counts of malicious mischief under $500 and one count each of speeding more than 20 mph over the speed limit, child restraint law, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, seat belt violation and failure to possess and display identification on demand.
He posted a $1,754 bond, the Clay County jail reported.
Shields was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. She posted a $615.50 bond.
Attorney Carlos Moore told Atlanta Black Star Wednesday he took on Morton’s case and plans to sue the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
“I will file a notice of claim with the highway patrol (this week),” he said.
It’s a first step in the legal process.
The Mississippi Highway Patrol released a statement to Atlanta Black Star Saturday.
“The entire video of the twelve – minute encounter Trooper Brandon Berry and Trooper James Scott had with Robert Andre Morton will be played for everyone to see when his case goes to trial,” Mississippi Highway Patrol Capt. John Poulos said in the statement. “At that time, the whole truth will be revealed.”