STONEWALL, Miss. (AP) - A man who had been driving a horse and buggy died after a fight with a Stonewall police officer, says his attorney, Stewart Parish.
Michael Street, police chief in the town of 1,100, told The Clarion-Ledger (https://on.thec-l.com/1HnXc2Q) that he asked the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation to look into the death Wednesday night of Jonathan Sanders, 39.
Parish, who is acting as the family’s spokesman, and Street both say it is not clear what led up to the incident Wednesday night with Officer Kevin Herrington.
Parish said that as far as he knows, Sanders did not have a weapon and was strangled.
He said witnesses have told him Sanders was exercising his horse, stopped to talk to a friend, and at some point called the friend’s brother to tell him that police were harassing the other man at a gas station.
Later, according to Parish, Herrington drove toward Sanders’ buggy, and Sanders pulled into a cousin’s yard, where Herrington got out of his patrol car.
Just what started the fight is still being investigated, and the cause of death won’t be known until an autopsy is complete, Street said.
MBI spokesman Warren Strain says it’s too early to talk until the autopsy report is in.
Clarke County Coroner Greg Fairchild says Sanders’ body has been sent to the State Crime Lab in Jackson for an autopsy.
Sanders had a police record, including a 2003 conviction for selling cocaine, which brought him a five-year sentence and five years on probation.
He was free on bond after being arrested in April on a charge of possessing the drug, Circuit Court Clerk Beth Jordan said.
Street said Herrington has never been the subject of any written complaint. He is on administrative leave with pay - routine procedure in such investigations.
Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com
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