NAACP Sues Mississippi Governor For ‘Separate and Unequal Policing’
The NAACP is concerned with the new laws passed in the “Blackest city in America”—Jackson, Mississippi.
ABC News reports the NAACP is suing Republican Gov. Tate Reeves and officials, claiming it’s only a matter of time before “separate and unequal policing” returns under the new state-run police department. Filed late last Friday, the lawsuit warns that these are “serious violations of the principle of self-government because they take control of the police and some courts out of the hands of residents.”
“In certain areas of Jackson, a citizen can be arrested by a police department led by a State-appointed official, be charged by a State-appointed prosecutor, be tried before a State-appointed judge, and be sentenced to imprisonment in a State penitentiary regardless of the severity of the act,” the lawsuit says.
Earlier this month, it was reported that lawmakers voted to give more power to a state police agency in Jackson accused of shooting four people last summer. The Mississippi Capitol Police will send them to patrol all of Jackson as a tactic by mostly white Republican state officials to exert more control over law enforcement in the majority-Black, Democrat-led capital.
Reeves says the law came about due to the violent crimes seen in the city, with more than 100 homicides over the past three years. However, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, who is also a resident, says the law would put Black people in the category of “second-class citizens.”
According to CBS News, Reeves believes the state-run Capitol Police would stabilize the understaffed department. He also claims the city working on the “problem” is met with cries of racism. “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,’” Reeves said.
Increased jurisdiction in Jackson for the Capitol Police could begin as early as Jul. 1.