Police in Jackson, Mississippi have launched an internal investigation following allegations that a man was assaulted by an officer and later died from his injuries.
Police Chief James Davis said during a press conference Wednesday that the Jackson Police Department was made aware of claims on social media that officers struck George Robinson while they were giving him a citation Sunday on a misdemeanor charge.
Robinson died on Monday following a field release in the neighborhood of Washington Addition. A field release is when an officer releases the suspect with a court date instead of taking them to jail.
Davis told reporters that officers with the department's K-9 unit were searching for suspects involved in the Jan. 13 murder of a local pastor when they approached Robinson. He, at some point, allegedly suffered a head injury and died at University of Mississippi Medical Center, according to NBC affiliate WLBT.
Davis provided very few details on what happened during the encounter, saying it's still too early in the investigation. He also said the involved officers, who he declined to name, are not on leave because no one has come forward to file a formal complaint against the department.
The officers were also not wearing body cameras at the time, according to Davis.
“Due to being transparent, we want people to know that we are doing a thorough investigation," he said. “We swore to protect lives, so it’s a great concern."
Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.