Community rallies behind Natchez police officer, applauds her restraint after arrest attack video goes viral
Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023
NATCHEZ — A video showing a May 16 incident involving a Natchez Police officer who was attacked by a young woman while working to make an arrest has gone viral on social media.
Natchez Police Officer Raven Carver, who has been on the job for about two years, was patrolling in the Maryland Heights area when she observed a vehicle driving down the street with a person sitting on the hood, said Natchez Police Chief Cal Green.
“Officer Carver initiated a traffic stop,” Green said. “This young lady and other people around were bystanders who thought they should get involved.”
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Officer Demarco Bailey, who has been in law enforcement for about seven years, assisted Carver on the scene.
Carver and Bailey were arresting the vehicle’s driver when a woman onlooker began a verbal exchange with Carver and then attacked the officer physically.
Even before the attack, the arrest had drawn a significant crowd, and video from a bystander captured the altercation. The video, which contains profanity and violence, can be viewed here.
Carver and her attacker lost their wigs during the fight, which seems to have aided the video’s popularity on social media. Celebrity Snoop Dogg, among others, shared the video on his Instagram feed on Monday night.
The female attacker, who is 16 years old, was arrested and was ordered by Youth Court Judge Walt Brown to be held in the Adams County Juvenile Detention Center pending a hearing this Thursday in which it will be decided whether to charge her as an adult, Green said. The suspect’s name is not being released because she is a juvenile.
The officers made three arrests during the incident — the female who is seen on the video attacking the officer, a male juvenile, and the vehicle’s driver.
“I believe that Raven Carver acted with admirable restraint. In a situation like that, when an officer is physically attacked, practically any level of physical response is appropriate,” Green said.
Green said Carver had received tremendous support from the community.
“She has gotten numerous messages from people thanking her for the restraint she showed. People are even using the hashtag ‘I Stand With Raven,’ ” the police chief said.
Carver, a Natchez native, received the highest academic award in her police academy class and has been an exemplary officer, Green said.
“For all intents and purposes, she was the valedictorian in her class,” she said. “She delivered the speech at her graduation.”
Green said Carver is doing well following the unsettling incident.
“Naturally, she is very concerned about all the craziness surrounding it,” Green said, including some false allegations that can be heard shouting at her in the video.
“Anyone in this community who knows Carver knows what a fine person and fine officer she is,” she said.
Green has a message for others considering attacking a police officer in the future.
“That type of behavior will be dealt with swiftly. My officers are not going to be targeted,” she said.
Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said the video underscores that “our officers willingly put themselves ahead of all others every day, even though it may put them in threatening and sometimes very dangerous situations. They may be called to put their lives on the line for the rest of us any day. That video should inspire anyone who watches it to have great support for police officers not only in Natchez but around the country.”
Gibson thanked the officers for handling themselves professionally.
“They were in a situation where they could have used greater force, but instead, they exercised great restraint,” he said. “As seen in this video, we never know when a small group will become a large group without warning and become threatening without warning. These are the conditions police officers all over find themselves in. And yet, in Natchez, just as we’ve seen recently, we have dedicated servants, some of whom won’t allow themselves to go home until they solve a crime once it’s been committed, and I salute them.”