COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- A Columbus Police officer is on administrative leave with pay after a traffic stop incident last month.
This all started with a traffic stop in east Columbus on August 18th by officer Keith Dowd.
Now, city leaders and residents are demanding answers as to why the officer reacted the way he did and the investigation is just beginning.
In the video you can hear Columbus Police Officer Keith Dowd continuously questioning the victim in a loud and repetitive manner.
“I was very concerned with officer Dowd’s behavior and that is something we’re just not going to tolerate here in the city of Columbus,” says Mayor Robert Smith.
The victim was originally pulled over for allegedly speeding, however, Dowd accuses him of smoking marijuana and lying to him.
In a memo to Police Chief Oscar Lewis, Mayor Robert Smith ordered Dowd be placed placed on administrative leave with pay until the next city council meeting. Smith also told Lewis there were two other traffic stop incidents with similar behavior, before to this one on August 18th.
Smith also called Dowd, quote… “a threat to the safety of the citizens of this community.” end quote.
An official complaint was filed Wednesday, but city officials knew about the incident days earlier.
“I was called by ex council member, Marty Turner and then I was put into contact with the mom, who called me as well,” says Lewis.
“I was informed by one of our former council members, the victim was his nephew,” says Smith.
Officer Dowd has been with the police department since July which brings up the question: ‘was this an isolated incident?’
“We’re looking at traffic stops prior to this incident and after this incident to see if there are patterns,” says Smith.
Mayor Robert Smith and Chief Oscar Lewis are also looking into Dowd’s employment history…
“We’re investigating as to what happened and why he was terminated at those different municipalities,” says Smith.
Lewis says this counteracts the work his department has been doing…
“It does kind of hurt the hard work we’ve put into trying to better the relations in the community,” says Lewis.
“I think he went far beyond the call of duty, in my personal opinion. We are taking steps to try to correct this behavior and let people know that this is not something we tolerate,” says Smith.
The CPD Overview Committee will meet tomorrow about a personnel matter.
We’re told this traffic stop is the reason why.
Councilmen will discuss the issue on Tuesday.
See the full body cam footage here.