WAYNESBORO, MS (WDAM) - A Waynesboro officer has resigned from the police department after a video showing him using a stun gun on a man went viral, leading to an investigation. Police Chief Holt Ross said officer James Kirkley’s resignation was accepted by the Waynesboro Board of Aldermen on Friday.
We spoke with Ross and Kirkley on Thursday, two days after the alleged incident. We also spoke to the mother of the man involved in the incident.
The incident began when Kirkley pulled over 18-year-old Gage Cason for a noise violation because of the loud exhaust on his pickup truck.
In the video, Cason is seen talking to Kirkley outside his truck. Cason appears to hand over his license before turning his back on the officer. That’s when you hear the pop of the stun gun and see Cason fall to the ground.
The video then shows Kirkley handcuff Cason and pull the prongs from the stun gun out of his back before helping Cason to his feet. Kirkley can then be seen pushing Cason against the truck while he is still handcuffed.
Ross said that Kirkley’s body camera was not recording when the stun gun was used on Cason, but it did start recording around the time Kirkley was helping Cason off the ground. According to Ross, that’s a violation of police department policy, which states an officer’s body camera should start recording the moment an officer gets out of their vehicle.
Kirkley told WDAM he feels like he was doing his job and handled the situation correctly.
“All he had to do was comply and walk back and got a ticket and been on his way” Kirkley said in a phone interview Thursday.
Cason’s mom said she disagrees and feels her son did nothing to warrant that type of reaction from a police officer. Cason was charged with disorderly conduct, failure to comply, failure to yield, unreasonable noise and resisting or obstructing arrest.
According to Ross, Kirkley was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation of the incident. We’re told Cason’s family is considering legal action.