UPDATE: Bay police chief resigns; feds eye arrest videotape
By Cassandra Favre
Sep 12, 2017, 18:03
Bay St. Louis Police Chief Daren Freeman has resigned. HIs last official day will be this Wednesday.
Bay St. Louis Mayor Mike Favre confirmed Monday that Police Chief Daren Freeman had submitted a letter of resignation, "which I have accepted with regrets," Favre said in a statement.
Tuesday, Favre confirmed to the Sea Coast Echo that Freeman's resignation comes amidst allegations of brutality.
Favre said he learned of the video footage last week from the Hancock County Sheriff's Office.
The alleged incident happened in May 2017, Favre said.
"I've seen the footage, it shows the chief restraining the suspect during the arrest," Favre said.
The video has since been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Favre said.
"His (Freeman's) resignation was brought up in our discussions," Favre said.
Bay St. Louis Detective Sergeant Matt Issman will handle the day-to-day activities of the police department during the search for a new police chief, Favre said.
"It is my intent to actively seek a replacement for our city's top law enforcement position so that Bay St. Louis Police Department has a leader that will further the commitment to accountability, responsiveness and transparency," Favre said Monday.
With regards to the video footage, Favre said Tuesday he is "not certain that it can be released at this point."
"It is still part of an investigative file, which is an ongoing investigation," Favre said. "I do not know that releasing the video is in my authority and I cannot speak for federal officials who are conducting their own investigation."
Former Mayor Les Fillingame hired Freeman as interim police chief in January.
On July 28, the newly-elected Bay St. Louis City Council approved Favre's recommendation of Freeman as the city's full-time police chief.
Brett Carr –– with the Jackson Division of FBI Public Affairs –– said Tuesday in an emailed statement, that "consistent with the Department of Justice and FBI policy, we can neither confirm nor deny whether a matter is under investigation."
Calls to representatives with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office and Freeman were unreturned by press time Tuesday.