Jackson, Miss., Mayor Chokwe Lumumba took office promising better and more transparent policing, but only after a months-long study did it stop resisting calls to release the names of police officers involved in shootings. Now the next controversy is brewing.
Jackson, Miss., Mayor Chokwe Lumumba took office in July 2017 promising criminal-justice reform and better and more transparent policing. But only after more than a year of study and pressure did his office finally, on Jan. 28, reveal the names of a dozen police officers involved in nine shootings since 2017, the Jackson Free Press reports. The city refused to provide a copy of the mayor’s new executive order establishing the naming from now on of officers involved in shootings, nor would the city agree to identify officers involved in deaths that don’t involve shooting.
Earlier in January, residents complained that Jackson police struck a 62-year-old stroke victim in the head with a flashlight during an arrest. He died two days later. In a prepared statement, the mayor said the officers being investigated in that death would not be identified “because this is not an officer involved shooting,” but instead will reconvene the officer ID task force that recommended the new shooting-ID policy last October. In the batch of police officer IDs released was one officer who had been involved in three separate shootings.