JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A Jackson city councilman is calling for the boycott of Northpark Mall in Ridgeland after he says a group of college students and their advisor were discriminated against on the day of the runoff election
Councilman Aaron Banks says the Tougaloo students were just trying to encourage voting when the incident occurred.
“They told us this is private property, if we come back we’re going to be arrested,” said Tougaloo College advisor Edelia Carthan.
Carthan and some of her students were wearing ‘Black Votes Matter’ shirts, handing out material promoting the vote on election day when they were told by security to leave the property twice.
They were then stopped by a Ridgeland police officer leaving the property to make sure they understood the mall policy, which prohibits soliciting.
Now, Councilman Banks is calling for a boycott of the mall, claiming the officers actions towards the group were racially charged.
“Sometimes to get their attention -- to get anybody’s attention for that matter -- you got to hit them where it hurts and that’s in their pocketbooks," said Councilman Banks. "To be unappreciative to the students that shop at that mall, to Jacksonians that shop at that mall. But on a day like today, lets be clear, the offense was the shirts they had on. ‘Black Votes Matter’. They didn’t like it.”
Northpark Mall officials say they do allow community groups to hand out materials, but they have to go through an application process and do it in a specified area.
Mall officials released the following statement after the incident: