FBI investigates officer punching Army veteran at Ole Miss game

Chris Barnes, a U.S. National Guard veteran, who was assaulted by a New Albany police officer at the LSU vs. Ole Miss game, is scheduled to appear in court today.

Barnes was at the game Nov. 21, with his wife and friends, when he got pummeled in the face by an officer working security detail that day.

Now, local, state and federal agencies, including the FBI, are conducing independent investigations into the incident to determine what, if anything, warranted the actions of the police officer in the stadium that day.

According to attorneys now representing Barnes, someone above him threw a projectile that went over his head and hit another person below him. Chris’s wife says the officer mistook him for someone else.

The officer approached Chris thinking he was the one who started the whole thing. One of Barnes’s friends told police that Chris was just trying to explain the situation, but the officer  “didn’t want to hear it.”

Chris and Holly Barnes. Photo Credit: Facebook
Chris and Holly Barnes. Photo Credit: Facebook

“Chris said, ‘I’ll walk with you, but I don’t want to be pushed or pulled’ and that statement upset the officer and he twisted his arm and that’s when the first punch was thrown,” the friend said.

Barnes was arrested and charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. When the video of the incident went viral, some witnesses came forward and said Barnes was “extremely drunk” and “acting belligerent.”

Chris reportedly had some x-rays done in the ER which revealed “bone fractures in the orbital area of his face where he was struck.” He was diagnosed with a concussion, according to local media reports.

According to Fox 13 News, Barnes has filed a report of the incident with the Ole Miss Police Department.

Barnes’ attorney told Fox Memphis:  “It escalated into something that it should not have escalated to.”

WMC reports that the officer involved was not on duty with New Albany PD at the time of the altercationHe was employed at the time by the University’s police department.

That officer is now on paid leave pending the investigation.

Barnes is set to appear in court today. His attorneys say he plans to plead not guilty to the charges against him.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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