Councilman proposes convenience store regulations in Jackson

Councilman Stokes proposes new city ordinance due to safety concerns

Gas station problems

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Jackson City Councilman Kenneth Stokes wants leaders to crack down on gas stations that have been sites for trouble in Jackson.

Currently, there is no ordinance regulating the operations of convenience stores in the city of Jackson. As a result, Stokes says the city is putting the general public at risk.

A woman carry's a bottle of open beer in the Jasco parking lot on Woodrow Wilson.
A woman carry's a bottle of open beer in the Jasco parking lot on Woodrow Wilson.

The Ward 3 City Councilman proposed a 6 month moratorium on convenience stores until the city can get a handle on the crime associated with them.

“A lot of these convenience stores are not the same stop and goes that we had years ago,” he said.

Stokes says they have become a breeding ground for crime.

“They know a lot of things are going on at these convenience stores, not the wino, we’re talking about the dope boy. Dope boys coming in there setting up shop,” Stokes said.

However, Stokes also acknowledged that the vast majority of stores are doing well. One in particular is the Southland Grocery and Gas Store on Medgar Evers Blvd.

"When I come to the store and I see anybody, I say man move go to Churches Chicken. If they say they were waiting for someone, I say no sir go, " Mrs Amerjeet said, describing how she handles loitering.

She and her family have been in the gas station and convenience store business for more than 30 years.

Owner, Mrs. Amerjeet talk about the history of the store.
Owner, Mrs. Amerjeet talk about the history of the store.

“You don’t see anyone outside selling dope. You don’t see any children coming in buying cigarettes, but then you come to these others and you have all kind of illegal activity taking place, you see people hanging out drinking, selling drugs and everything else,” said Stokes referring to the gas station parking lot.

Councilman Stokes address the dangers of certain city gas stations and convenience stores.
Councilman Stokes address the dangers of certain city gas stations and convenience stores.

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