The first day of testimony in Steve Strickler's trial was slow, but full of important information.
Captain Brian Montgomery with the Moss Point police department spent most of the day on the stand. Montgomery was one of the four officers on the scene the night Marcus Malone was arrested. He was also the only officer there not indicted by a grand jury last summer. His testimony, along with a video tape made from his patrol car, established part of the time line of the night Malone died.
Jurors watched the ten minute video, which shows Malone being forced out of his car by three officers. During the struggle one officer is seen putting a head lock or grabbing Malone around the neck. The tape shows Malone being pepper-sprayed twice, and being dragged to the ground and handcuffed.
After a few minutes of rest, officers got Malone to his feet and he and walked to Officer Steve Strickler's car alive and without any obvious injuries.
Montgomery testified that force was necessary because Malone was on drugs and acting irrational, and that Malone had only minor injures with scraps and cuts.
Montgomery then testified that there was a second police stop with Malone that was not videotaped or recorded on any police radio logs. District Attorney Keith Miller says it's that second stop that raises questions, and where he believes Malone received most of his injuries.
Steve Strickler was a reserve officer at the time of Malone's death and is the first to stand trial. As for the other two officers charged in the case, Chris Weeks and Derrick Welton were suspended from duty shortly after they were indicted last year. Their trial is set for later this summer.
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