Anger management ordered for officer who knelt on man’s back

December 29, 2021 GMT

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi police officer has been ordered to take an anger management class after a video showed him pushing a man down during an arrest and forcefully pressing his knee into the man’s back.

Vicksburg police Officer Eddie Colbert was suspended 15 days with pay, and he must take the class after he returns to work, the Vicksburg Post reported. The mayor and aldermen also ordered Colbert to have a 45-day probation period.

“The behavior of the officer was indefensible, in my opinion, but it did not rise to a level of termination,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said Tuesday.

Flaggs spoke after he and other city officials had a closed-door hearing with Chief Penny Jones and three deputy chiefs about Colbert’s actions during the arrest early Sunday. The newspaper reported Colbert testified during the hearing.

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Officials examined videos from the arrest, including one shot by an onlooker and posted online that showed Colbert arresting a man after the department received a call about a downtown disturbance early Sunday. It showed Colbert pushing the man down onto a brick-paved street, WAPT-TV reported. The man was lying on his stomach when he raised his head and appeared to say something to the officer. Colbert then forcefully knelt on the man’s back.

The man, John Dolley, was charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, which are misdemeanors, the Post reported.

Flaggs said both Colbert and Dolley are Black.

News outlets reported Colbert was shot in the face in December 2020 while working as a security guard at a nightclub in Jackson.