Jackson city councilman calls for boycott of Northpark Mall

VIDEO: Jackson city councilman calls for boycott of Northpark Mall

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

The jackson city council announced their stance on the forest hill band controversy.
The jackson city council announced their stance on the forest hill band controversy.

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.

Posted by Jakyrannee Phillips on Wednesday, November 28, 2018

They were then stopped by a Ridgeland police officer leaving the property to make sure they understood the mall policy, which prohibits soliciting.

North Park Mall in RIDGELAND, MS had five security guards escort 5 students and a professor out the mall for telling people to go vote today, and called 3 police officers and they pulled us over while we were leaving the premises respectfully and said if we were to come back we would be arrested 🤦🏾‍♀️ never experienced anything like this! Be sure to go vote today !! It’s that serious, your vote matters #blackvotesmatter

Posted by Jakyrannee Phillips on Tuesday, November 27, 2018

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:

We are a community partner and value all of our patrons. We are doing everything we can to help remedy the situation. Northpark is a shopping center for all, a place where families and shoppers can come together in unity. We do not promote or condone any specific political opinions or religious affiliation. We believe everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and opinions and provide a neutral space for the community to share their cause in a safe and specified area through an application process where any group and/or organization can apply to participate and share their message.
Christy Pender - Northpark Mall Marketing and Business Development Manager

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