|Jessica White is charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer
The attorney for Crane alderwoman Jessica White, who was arrested and charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer on May 5th, says the videotaped evidence he has will prove his client is innocent of allegedly hitting a deputy in the back of the head.
Attorney Dale Wiley says his client was returning from playing basketball at the city park when they encountered a Stone County deputy in their driveway who had pulled over Brittany Barnett, who is Jessica White's cousin, for a traffic violation.
When the deputy ran the occupants of the vehicle for warrants he found that one of the people in the car, Thomas Barnett, was wanted for not paying a traffic fine in Crane.
The deputy called for back-up from a Crane police officer. "I was telling her (Brittany) to be quiet and listen to the officers," said White at meeting in Wiley's office. "By her disrespecting them I felt like she was disrespecting me."
Wiley says White, her husband Jordan, and her father-in-law Donny "Stick" White were told to move to the carport and not go inside by the officers. "Then two late-arriving officers came and began to shine their flashlights into the White's cars, in the cutilage of their house. They did not have any logical reason, much less probable cause, to do so. They certainly did not have a warrant."
"We don't have an issue with the Crane police officer," said Wiley.
|Attorney Dale Wiley
The videotape does not show anything that happened during the traffic stop and arrest of Thomas Barnett and it begins near the carport of the White's home. At one point Jessica White asks a deputy who is attempting to cuff her husband, "who are you...why are you doing this."
"What happened next had nothing to do with interfering with an officer. It had nothing to do with resisting arrest," said Wiley.
Wiley says Jessica White was defending her family when she hit the officer in the back of the head. "I believe it was a reflex action when she saw they were being hurt."
He says his clients suffered broken ribs, torn ligaments and approximately eight taser assaults, including at least one in the genital area. Wiley has set up a website with the video at www.stonecountypolicebrutality.com
Wiley refutes the claim made by an officer who wrote in a probable cause statement that Jessica White was allegedly intoxicated. "I wish Sheriff Hill and his deputies had taken the time to interview the numerous witnesses to this event. In that light, when we are done investigating, we will release our side of the story and the videos that clearly refute the outrageous comments contained in Sheriff Hill's press release."
"My clients wish to state clearly that the majority of officers who were present on Saturday were well-mannered and pleasant. But the ones who participated in these vicious and senseless assaults while having no reason to be on our client's property deserve to answer for their actions."