Mississippi police officers turned off body cameras during alleged choking incident

The Bay St. Louis police officers accused in a police brutality incident in September turned off their body cameras during the time of the alleged assault on a man lying in a hospital bed.

The Sun Herald filed a public records request with the city to obtain the police report and body camera footage from officers John Nelson and Matt Dickens. The footage was recorded in the early morning hours of Sept. 29, when the officers responded to a report of a fight outside a bar in the Depot District.

Thomas Koenenn III, 28, of Kiln, was taken to Hancock Medical Center for treatment to injuries he suffered in the fight after the officers arrested him and his brother, Cody Koenenn, on charges of public drunkenness.

Thomas Koenenn filed a complaint with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office after the incident, accusing Nelson of choking him while he lay in a hospital bed.

The footage released by the city is only a few minutes long and shows Cody Koenenn and Dickens trying to wake up Thomas Koenenn as he lay unconscious on the sidewalk outside of the bar. The camera then cuts off.

Capt. Wes Mayley said there is no body camera footage from the time the officers were with Koennen at the hospital.

When asked if it was protocol for an officer to turn off his body camera, Mayley said an officer can choose to turn off the camera after leaving a scene.

Nelson, the officer accused of choking Thomas Koenenn, was placed back on duty after a brief suspension and the conclusion of an internal investigation.

Wesley Muller: 228-896-2322, @WesleySMuller