The Clarksdale Police Department has arrested a local man for attempted murder of a police officer.
Johnathan Bays, of Clarksdale, was arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 20 by police. Bays has received his initial appearance in Clarksdale Municipal Court where charges against him were read. He was denied bond by Judge Derek Hopson and placed in the Coahoma County Jail to await his day in court.
Bays was also charged with shooting into a vehicle and felon in possession of a firearm.
Clarksdale Police Chief Sandra Williams said officers responded to the 2000 block of MLK Boulevard to assist a female in removing personal items from her home.
“When the officer arrived, Bays is accused of opening fire with a shot gun on the responding officer and shooting into the officer’s vehicle,” said Williams. “With the assistance of the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Office and a brief foot pursuit, Bays was apprehended.”
Police said the shotgun used in the incident was recovered.
Clarksdale’s Mayor and Board of Commissioner revised city employee and police policy in June for dealing with the public and specifically the use of force by officers.
All police officers are bound by policy concerning:
● Use of force and deadly force
Human life is sacred. Protecting innocent human life is the most important mission of the Clarksdale Police Department. Apprehending non-violent suspects and criminals is less important than protecting innocent human life, including the protecting of the office’s own life.
Officers maintain a constant readiness and ability to act in instances where, in their perception, the use of force or deadly force may be appropriate. By maintaining readiness and capacity, officers reduce the likelihood of opposition and of the actual need for a forceful response of any kind. While officer discretion is critical, the need for accountability and control of police activities is necessary to limit abuses of authority. Officers will only use the amount of force reasonably necessary to protect life and enforce the law under guidelines established by this policy manual.
● Taser X26P Electronic Control
The Clarksdale Police Department authorizes the use of only that level of force that is reasonably necessary and, in furtherance of that policy, utilizes the Taser X26P Electric Control device (“Taser”) to safely and effectively subdue violent or potentially violent individuals thereby minimizing the likelihood of injury to officers, the public and suspects.
● Chemical Agents- Oleoresin Capsicum
Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray and similar chemical spray agents are authorized for use as a non-deadly force option by officers of this Department when officers are trained in its use and decontamination.
● Body-Worn Cameras
Body-worn cameras are an effective law enforcement tool that can reduce violent confrontations and complaints against officers. Body-worn cameras provide additional documentation of police-public encounters and may be an important tool for collecting evidence and maintaining public trust.
The Clarksdale Police Department has adopted the use of body-worn cameras to accomplish several objectives, including:
1. Body-worn cameras allow for accurate documentation of police-public contacts, arrests and critical incidents. They also serve to enhance the accuracy of officer reports and testimony.
2. Audio and video recordings enhance the Department’s ability to review probable cause for arrest, officer and suspect interaction, evidence for investigative and prosecutorial purposes and to provide additional info for officer evaluation and training.
3. Body-worn cameras may also be useful in documenting crime and accident scenes or other events that include the confiscation and documentation of evidence or contraband.
New Police Policies
● Any officer in charge of training new recruits or newly hired certified officers must be properly trained themselves and must be employed by the Clarksdale Police Department for a minimum number of years.
● Once a person is properly detained and secured in handcuffs, Police Officers may not use aggressive, violent, or deadly force on that person. Police Officers using such unnecessary physical force on a handcuffed person shall face termination.
● Community policing shall be an integral part of the mission of the Clarksdale Police Department. Actively participating in community policing shall be mandatory for all officers on patrol during each and every shift.