UNITED STATES NEWS

Mississippi OKs more state policing in mostly Black city

Apr 21, 2023, 12:53 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s Republican governor signed a bill on Friday to expand the territory of a state-run police department inside the majority-Black capital city of Jackson, and the new law is expected to face a court challenge from the NAACP.

The legislation was passed by a majority-white and Republican-controlled state House and Senate. Jackson is governed by Democrats and about 83% of residents are Black, the largest percentage of any major U.S. city.

NAACP national president Derrick Johnson, who lives in Jackson, said the law would treat Black people as “second-class citizens” by stomping on rights of local self-government. He said at a community meeting on April 6 in Jackson that the NAACP intends to sue the state.

“They’re only imposing this on the city of Jackson,” Johnson said. “No other jurisdiction in the state of Mississippi will have this type of oversight and taking of local authority. That is a direct violation of equal protection.”

Gov. Tate Reeves said this week that the Jackson Police Department is severely understaffed and he believes the state-run Capitol Police can provide stability. The city has nearly 150,000 residents and has had more than 100 homicides in each of the past three years.

“We have a crippling problem with violent crime in our capital city,” Reeves said in a statement Friday. “We’re working to address it. And when we do, we’re met with overwhelming false cries of racism and mainstream media who falsely call our actions ‘Jim Crow.’”

Capitol Police officers have been patrolling around state government buildings in and near downtown, and the Jackson Police Department patrols the entire city. Critics say Capitol Police are aggressive, and expanding the territory could endanger lives.

Debate in the past four months over a larger state role in Jackson has angered residents who don’t want their voices diminished in local government. It’s the latest example of the long-running tensions between the state government and the capital city.

The law will create a temporary court within a Capitol Complex Improvement District inside a portion of Jackson. The court will have the same power as municipal courts, which handle misdemeanor cases, traffic violations and initial appearances for some criminal charges.

Most municipal judges are appointed by city officials. Jackson has a Black mayor and majority-Black city council. The judge of the new court is not required to live in Jackson and will be appointed by the Mississippi Supreme Court chief justice. The current chief justice is a conservative white man.

“Jacksonians want a safer city more than anyone, but this is not what real public safety looks like,” Jarvis Dortch, executive director of the ACLU of Mississippi, said in a statement Friday.

“If our state lawmakers really wanted to help fight crime,” he said, “they would invest more tax dollars into mental health and anti-poverty programs to better support all of our communities, not finding new ways to oppress and overpower the Black residents of this state.”

United States News

FILE- This undated photograph released by the U.S. military's Central Command shows what is describ...

Associated Press

4 charged with transporting Iranian-made weapons face detention hearings in US court

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Four crew members of an unflagged vessel that U.S. officials say was carrying Iranian-made missile components are scheduled to appear Tuesday in a federal courtroom in Virginia, where prosecutors are expected to argue they should be held without bond while they await trial. The night of Jan. 11, U.S. Central Command […]

29 minutes ago

Associated Press

Man pleads guilty in deaths of 2 officers at Virginia college in 2022 and is sentenced to life

HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — A man who had been scheduled for trial in the shooting deaths of two popular police officers at a Virginia college in 2022 instead pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. Alexander Campbell, 29, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Bridgewater College […]

55 minutes ago

FILE - Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies before a House Financial Services Committee hearin...

Associated Press

Yellen urges world leaders to ‘unlock’ frozen Russian Central Bank assets and send them to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday offered her strongest public support yet for the idea of liquidating roughly $300 billion in frozen Russian Central Bank assets and using them for Ukraine’s long-term reconstruction. “It is necessary and urgent for our coalition to find a way to unlock the value of these immobilized […]

2 hours ago

Middle class is shrinking, lower case is growing, Valley economist says...

KTAR.com

Middle-class Americans may not be able to afford a home, Valley economist says

Why is the middle class shrinking? Is the U.S. economy growing? Valley economist Jim Rounds answered these questions on Monday.

2 hours ago

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) leaves a House Republican conference meeting on Capitol Hill on April 27, ...

Kevin Stone

Rep. Debbie Lesko excited about her future in Arizona, frustrated with Washington politics

U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko said she’s excited about the next chapter of her Arizona political career while expressing frustration about her tenure in Washington.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Court documents shed new details in killing of nursing student at University of Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — The suspect in the killing of a nursing student on the University of Georgia campus used an object as a weapon in the crime and he’s also accused of “disfiguring her skull,” according to newly filed arrest affidavits. Jose Ibarra, who faces multiple murder and assault charges, is also accused of dragging […]

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Mississippi OKs more state policing in mostly Black city