GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The woman who shared a now-viral video of a Harrison County inmate being aggressively placed into the back of a sheriff's department transport van says she told her son to record the incident because the inmate wasn't being treated like a human being.
Measheel McLemore said she was at the Harrison County Courthouse Monday with her son for his scheduled court appearance. It was when the judge told everyone to take a lunch break that she said she witnessed something in plain sight that she believed was so unnerving she told her son to pull out his camera and start rolling.
"They was walking on the side of the van and once they got on the back of the van, the gentlemen slammed the boy's head and that's what made my son start recording," she told WLOX.
In the 15-second video, the inmate is seen jumping onto the bumper and leaning back before one of the deputies pushed him into the van. Sheriff Troy Peterson said the inmate was leaving a sentencing hearing and was put in a transport vehicle with other inmates when he became disruptive towards the inmates.
The deputies then moved the inmate into a second vehicle, and during that transfer, the sheriff said the inmate got into a verbal altercation with the deputy, causing him to use force to get the inmate in the van.
"Regardless of what crime he committed, he still human," said McLemore. "We can't mistreat our animals and get away with it."
McLemore took the video to the sheriff's department Tuesday, causing authorities there to launch an investigation.
"It's your job to get him from one vehicle to the next safely," said McLemore. "He just assaulted somebody that was in shackles and handcuffs and if he does it out here I wonder what other places he's done it at and got away with it."
The deputy was placed on administrative leave Wednesday while the internal investigation was underway. On Thursday, the sheriff said that deputy had been fired for violating the department's policies and procedures.
See the full video posted by McLemore below: