Desoto County News

Twitter thread responds to police information on arrests

We’re learning more today about what apparently was the reason for a news release from the Southaven Police Department Monday that provided information about arrests made Feb. 6. The incident addressed in the police release took place at a residence on Windy Ridge Drive.

In the news release, police reported that a juvenile and an adult were arrested following a report from a suicide prevention hotline that the juvenile had made threats to a school or commit suicide. 

Police stated it had seen several accounts of the incident on social media, which it described as “misleading.” and asked the public to allow the judicial process to unfold and not try the case in the “social media public opinion.” That was apparently the reason for releasing the information, which the department doesn’t normally do in cases involving a juvenile.  

“Southaven Police are compelled to address this matter for the integrity of its police force, along with the individual officers,” the news release from the Southaven Police Department stated.  

Police received a call on Feb. 6 from a suicide prevention hotline that an individual who resided in Southaven had made threats to either shoot up a school or commit suicide on Feb. 15. Upon learning where the threats reportedly came from, officers went to the home of the juvenile, a youth court custody order was granted for the juvenile and the father was also arrested and charged for his response.  

Pamela McKelvy-Hamner, a former candidate for Southaven alderman and former television news reporter, took to a Twitter thread on Feb. 11 to say her 17-year autistic son was the juvenile involved in the incident, and it was her husband, Dabney Hamner Jr., who was arrested. Their residence, according to court records for the charges against Dabney Hamner, is located on Windy Ridge Drive, the address revealed in the police release in question.  

McKelvy-Hamner, in the Twitter thread, said that her son did not make the threats police were responding to. Her son claims he was “swatted.” 

Swatting is a practice of making phone calls to emergency lines and reporting an emergency situation, such as a shooting or hostage situation.  The name “swatting” comes from the SWAT team responses to the emergency situations that sometimes result from the phone calls. It is a harassment technique most often perpetrated by members of the online gaming community. 

McKelvy-Hamner detailed her side of the incident in the Twitter feed, saying the officers said her son was being arrested for terrorism and her husband was being arrested for refusing to give up the son’s phone to the officers. The phone was later given to the officers on the advice of Hamner’s lawyer, she said.   

In the news release, police said they had body camera footage of the incident which it would not release until after the investigation is complete. McKelvy-Hamner has posted her own video of the encounter as part of her Twitter feed. 

According to McKelvy-Hamner, police “Bullied us, abused their authority, maliciously arrested my son and husband, booked my husband, who now has to go before the medical board has TRAUMATIZED all of us. I’m in tears bc I haven’t slept since this happened and didn’t eat until my son was in our arms.”

The Hamners plan to challenge the police action, with McKelvy-Hamner stating, “When I tell y’all we will liquidate all of our assets in filing a civil lawsuit, we are NOT bluffing. They busted upon our home without proof, harassed and bullied us, embarrassed us, charged my husband with resisting arrest, obstructing justice & disorderly conduct…”

A link to a GoFundMe page has been included in her thread for those who want to contribute to the family’s legal defense fund.  It set a goal of $10,000 of which nearly $3,000 had been committed as of Tuesday morning from 91 donations.  

Dabney Hamner Jr. was charged with second-degree hindering prosecution, disorderly conduct/failure to comply with an officer, and resisting arrest. He has a court appearance set for Feb. 15 at 9 a.m. in Southaven Municipal Court.  

Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite came to the defense of his police department in his own post on Facebook, where he shared the police department’s news release with an additional statement.

“We will protect our schools and I will protect our citizens from grossly misleading narratives on social media,” Musselwhite said. “As stated, I look forward to the complete body cam footage being released and there will be no further statement until the investigation has been completed.”