Convenience store owners claim police harassment - - Jackson, MS

Convenience store owners claim police harassment

By  David Kenney - bio | email

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - They say they were only trying to run a family business when they were violated by those sworn to protect and serve.

This week two South Jackson convenience store workers say they were, cursed at, roughed up, then wrongfully arrested by Jackson Police officers last week.

It happened Nov. 16 at the Stop Food Store at 3155 Terry Road in south Jackson.

The owners of this store say they this is actually the second time vice and narcotics officers had raided cars of their customers in their parking lot this month.

Their arrest, and the officers actions towards them, all caught on surveillance cameras inside the store.

Gurdeep Bal says he and his brother Sandeep were arrested, after they inquired why the officers were searching vehicles of their customers in the convenience store parking lot.

They had asked because they say their customers were complaining of being harassed.

The two claim the officers then cursed at them, and even shoved them at one point.

They say one officer told them they could do whatever they wanted to.

The Bal brothers were then handcuffed in the store, and arrested and charged with interfering with police business and assault on an officer.

There are five officers in the video.

Assistant Police Chief Lee Vance says they will remain on the force, while investigation is ongoing.    

Police also have a copy of the surveillance tape which they are currently reviewing.

"I don't want to draw any conclusions that they acted in any way they shouldn't have at this point. The only thing we have is accusations and we have a videotape that's why we have a division to do investigations in these cases and we'll just wait until they finish their investigation and we'll do whatever the results are," Vance said.

 The Bal brothers had to pay 800 dollars to get bailed out of jail.

They have a Jan. 4 court date for a preliminary hearing on their charges.

The Bal brothers say they have owned the store for six years, and have never been arrested for anything before.

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