DA's supporters say arrest was politically motivated - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

DA's supporters say arrest was politically motivated

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith was expected to speak to the media following his arrest Wednesday morning. 

Instead a news conference was held by supporters, who say he's being attacked by those who tried to get him out of office.

"This is clearly politically motivated," said Jackson attorney Chokwe Lumumba.

Lumumba and Akil Bakari, with the Coalition for Economic Justice, addressed the media about Smith's state and federal investigation. Bakari read a statement he said was from the DA's Office.

The group said Smith is being falsely accused of misdemeanor charges.

"I challenge those who have presented this affidavit, not indictment, this affidavit to establish or prove any other district attorney in the history of this state who has been charged with a similar crime," said Lumumba, the attorney who said he is Smith's friend and is not representing the district attorney.

In the statement, Smith said he was preparing for a grand jury presentation when AG investigator, Lee McDivitt, entered with an arrest warrant.

It further states that Lee McDivitt is the same investigator who had been served with a subpoena to appear before a Hinds County grand jury related to an investigation by the Hinds County District Attorney regarding improper and illegal activities by certain state officials.    

"We've followed this very closely today and the investigation that this office has participated in around elected officials as attorney Lumumba stated it simply doesn't pass the smell test," said Bakari.

Smith is accused of six counts of advising, counseling, consulting or defending criminals.

According to the Hinds DA's statement, improper and illegal actions were taken by Attorney General Jim Hood and are designed to intimidate, embarrass and obstruct an ongoing criminal investigation.

Lumumba said Smith has legal counsel and is looking forward to the facts of the case being revealed.

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