Chief: Officer-involved shooting details not released pending MBI probe

Published 1:04 pm Friday, August 5, 2022

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NATCHEZ — Authorities have declined to release details about a July 18 incident in which a woman with a knife was shot when police officers responded to a suicide call.

The name of the officer involved in the shooting has not been released, nor have the specifics of the officer’s interaction with the woman.

Natchez Police Chief Joseph Daughtry said his reason for not releasing these details is both to protect the officer and to avoid hindering the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation’s probe.

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“We turn it over to MBI (because) it’s the law so the investigation remains impartial,” he said. “We don’t release information that could interfere with their investigation so that it keeps down the confusion. I’m confident in the MBI and believe they will have a complete and thorough investigation.”

The shooting incident reportedly happened just before 1 a.m. near Jackson Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Street in Natchez. Daughtry said at least two police officers responded to the call.

At the time, he said a woman with a knife was shot at some point during her interaction with officers. No officers were injured and the woman was treated at Merit Health Natchez. He said he did not believe her injuries were life-threatening. However, Daughtry said he was not provided with any updates on her health status.

Daughtry said not releasing the officers’ names is standard practice in all of his years in law enforcement.

“For one, when you release the officer’s name, it puts that officer and their family in a bad light and people might retaliate without knowing the facts,” he said. “Never in my law enforcement career have we ever released the officer’s name in these situations unless an officer is killed, in which case we have to.”

The MBI also has not released any further details about the incident. The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave with pay as the MBI investigation continues, Daughtry said.

“This is an ongoing investigation; no further comment can be made,” said Bailey Martin Public Relations Director for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

The MBI stated in a news release that their findings will be shared with the Attorney General’s office upon completing their investigation.