Tupelo Police Department releases new video of arrest that went viral

After a Freedom of Information request by WTVA, TPD released new bodycam and dashcam footage of an altercation with 33-year-old Jasper Copeland, who was arrested.

Posted: Jul 16, 2021 8:26 PM
Updated: Jul 16, 2021 9:09 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The Tupelo Police Department released new video showing an altercation between two TPD officers and 33-year-old Jasper Copeland, who was arrested.

During the afternoon of Tuesday, July 13, 2021, Tupelo police officers pulled over 33-year-old Jasper Copeland and his girlfriend, Brittany Thomas, because she was not wearing a seatbelt.

Bodycam footage showed an altercation between two TPD officers and 33-year-old Jasper Copeland, who was arrested.

When Jasper Copeland exited his vehicle, a small clear bag fell to the ground, which officers suspected contained narcotics.

When Jasper Copeland exited his vehicle, a small clear bag fell to the ground, which officers suspected contained narcotics.

Officers realized Copeland had two active warrants out and asked Thomas if she consented to let them search the vehicle. She gave consent.

After Copeland exited the vehicle, a clear bag fell to the ground, which the officers suspected contained narcotics. The officers then asked him to place his hands behind his back, to which he responded with rapid punches.

After a struggle, the officers arrested Copeland, who is now in custody with a $300,000 bail.

A video was taken by a bystander that showed a clip of the struggle between the officers and Copeland, but it only showed a short sequence of the interaction.

In the spirit of transparency, the Tupelo Police Department responded to a Freedom of Information request from WTVA by providing dashcam footage and bodycam footage of the incident.

Because the investigation into the traffic stop is ongoing, the TPD did not release all of the footage.

WTVA censored the video released due to the offensive nature of some language used during the altercation.

Along with the video released, the TPD offered this statement:

"In an effort to be responsive to citizens' concerns and as a transparent as possible, TPD is releasing the body camera footage and car camera footage from an assault on officer case from July 13, 2021. TPD conducts detailed investigations of these types of incidents. We are still in the early stages of this investigation and our understanding of the incident may change as additional evidence is collected, analyzed and reviewed. We do not draw final conclusions until all the facts are known and our investigation is complete. We invite anyone with additional information to contact TPD at 662-841-6491."

Because Copeland was on parole with the Mississippi Department of Corrections, his bail is on hold.

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