HINESVILLE, Ga. (WSAV) – The Hinesville Police Department (HPD) is investigating an excessive force complaint following a traffic stop that occurred Thursday.
The complaint came from a family member of Taizhun Nephew, who HPD says fled from the traffic stop. The family member was not on the scene during the incident but expressed concerns about how Nephew was treated.
HPD says the incident happened around 9 p.m. Thursday when an officer traveling on W. Hendry Street noticed a driver’s vehicle tag was improperly displayed. The driver stopped for HPD in a nearby parking lot when a passenger, identified as Darius Drew-White, got out and ran from the car.
As the officer approached, Nephew, another passenger, also fled.
Within a few minutes, Drew-White was located and arrested without incident. Officers pursued Nephew, who had gone through the back door of a Waffle House.
HPD says officers found Nephew and attempted to place him under arrest but he resisted handcuffs and struck his head on the wall of the bathroom during the scuffle.
He was handcuffed after appearing to be unconscious, the department says, and medical personnel was called to the scene.
Nephew was taken to the Liberty Regional Medical Center (LRMC) for treatment and cleared for transport to the Liberty County Jail. There, he was booked on charges of obstruction of a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm by a first offender and criminal attempt to possess
According to Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes, Nephew was taken to LRMC on Saturday for a follow-up evaluation. Sikes says Nephew was again, medically cleared.
According to HPD, the internal investigation into the family’s complaint is underway to determine if the level of force used during Nephew’s arrest was appropriate. Officials say Nephew has been interviewed several times since the incident, including face-to-face Saturday morning.
HPD says he is alert and only has minor complaints of soreness. Sikes says any health needs Nephew may have are being attended to by the jail’s medical staff.
Nephew was denied bond due to his “extensive criminal history,” according to the department. Sikes said he was arrested on two separate occasions by HPD in 2017 for drug and weapons charges.