Alleged cop punch victim faces new felony charge

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, December 2, 2015

An Oxford man, who claimed a police officer broke bones in his face after punching him, now faces a felony charge, according to the Lafayette County Justice Court.

Chris Barnes of Oxford was arrested after the University of Mississippi Rebels

football game against LSU two weeks ago and charged with disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and resisting arrest, all misdemeanor charges. He was taken to the Lafayette County Detention Center where he was released on bond four hours later.

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Shortly after his release, Barnes’ wife posted a video on Facebook of Barnes’ being punched by New Albany police officer Brock White who was moonlighting as security during the game. White has been placed on administrative leave with pay, according to New Albany Police Chief Christopher Robertson.

The video shows a verbal argument and two officers attempting to get Barnes to sit down and a struggle occurring. The video then shows White punching Barnes in the face.

Since he was not an employee of Ole Miss at the time of the alleged assault, Ole Miss asked the FBI to investigate the incident, so the FBI is now in charge of the investigation.

Barnes was set to be arraigned Tuesday on the charges at the Justice Court, however, he was subsequently charged with a felony for assault on a law enforcement officer. Since it’s a felony charge, he will have to be indicted by a grand jury. A clerk at the Justice Court said the Circuit Court would handle the case unless he is not indicted and the case is returned to the Justice Court for the misdemeanor charges.

The Barneses claim Chris was diagnosed with a concussion, fractures to his orbital wall and maxillary sinus and contusions to the tissues of his eyes and that he was left without medical attention after having obvious injuries to the face at the detention center.

Someone claiming to work at the detention center said Barnes was also involved in a fight while in the holding cell. Barnes’ mugshot has not yet been released by the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department, which issued a statement that its leaders could not comment on the case since it’s an open investigation.

The Barneses have hired attorneys David Pool and Gerald Waggoner.