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Sheriff disputes police brutality allegations

News that the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department and Water Valley Police Department were accused of “brutally beating” Davidtron Logan first started circulating this past Tuesday. 

Since then, a photo of Logan, with a bloodied face and eyes swollen shut, has circulated across social media. Logan’s attorney, Carlos Moore of the Cochran Firm-Delta Division, has filed notice of claim against the two departments and the City of Water Valley, suing the entities for $1 million in damages. Moore has gone on the record multiple times, relaying the story from his client’s point of view. 

However, Sheriff W.F. ‘Lance’ Humphreys is telling a different story of the incident, which took place on July 18 when law enforcement officers were conducting a driver’s license checkpoint. 

“I can tell you what he’s saying is not the truth,” Humphreys told the EAGLE.  

According to Humphreys, on the day of the incident Logan was approaching the checkpoint in a vehicle. However, Logan did not realize an additional deputy was heading down the road behind him. Prior to reaching the checkpoint, Humphreys said, Logan opened his car door and threw out what appeared to be a paper towel wrapped around an item.  

When the deputy traveling behind Logan pulled over to pick up the paper towel, he found what appeared to be “meth or some other controlled substance” inside it. This substance is currently undergoing tests in the crime lab, Humphreys said. 

“When he got to the checkpoint, Mr. Logan told the deputies he didn’t have a driver’s license. So, they told him to go ahead and get out of the vehicle,” Humphreys said. “The deputy who found the narcotics walked up and said ‘I found this,’ and at that point Logan took off running.” 

At this point, the routine road block became a violent altercation.  

“(Logan) used to play football at Water Valley, I’m pretty sure at full back or something like that,” Humphreys said. “One of my deputies described it as trying to hold down a 250-pound calf.” 

Logan began running at the law enforcement officials, trying to “physically run them over,” the sheriff said. In addition to Yalobusha County Deputies, officers with WVPD and the Mississippi Narcotics Bureau were also present conducting the road block. 

Officers then tased Logan, Humphreys said, which had “no effect whatsoever,” and at this point, were trying to do everything within their means to get him under control and limit injury to himself or officers.  

“At this point they have no idea whether or not he has a gun or a weapon,” he said. “His pants were halfway down, around his knees. Once they finally got him handcuffed, he asked a deputy to pull his pants up, which he does upon reaching the patrol car. Once his pants are up, while handcuffed, (Logan) took off again, charging at them. 

“The deputy told me ‘I’ve got a hold of his arm, and trying to leg sweep him, and he’s so strong and so strung out that I can’t control him.” 

To explain the injuries Logan sustained during the ordeal, Humphreys said in the midst of the physical altercation, several deputies’ equipment had fallen out of their vests.  

Another deputy was bent over away from Logan, attempting to pick up the items, including tasers and flashlights, when Logan charged him. The cuts on his face were sustained when the deputy, hands full of items, held up his hands to shield his face. 

“Once they got him in (the sheriff’s department), he refused to do anything until we took a picture,” Humphreys said. “(People are being told) we refused to take his picture, but we didn’t refuse – our camera hasn’t been working for three months.” 

The photo was ultimately taken by a WVPD officer. 

Above all, throughout the initial altercation and its aftermath, Humphreys said he’s defending his deputies. 

“In the 13 years that I’ve been sheriff, I’ve never had a single deputy be accused of any type of excessive force or anything to do with race,” he said. “I don’t allow it, I don’t teach it, I don’t practice it. We don’t tolerate it.” 

In addition to the injuries sustained by Logan, two deputies were also injured in the scuffle. One has recovered and is back at work, but the other is currently on day-shift, bound to his desk with an injured knee that will require surgery. 

Logan was formally charged with two counts of assault on an officer, one count of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession of paraphernalia. 

He will go before grand jury at the end of September.