JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Attorneys for 11 current and former Jackson Police officers filed a lawsuit in court Wednesday. They are requesting a jury trial for their clients who have been involved in use of force incidents and have been investigated under the James Davis administration.
Attorneys Michael Cory, Dale Danks, and Francis Springer said today that as long as the Jackson Police Department continues to employ disciplinary practices they call “arbitrary, capricious, excessive and illegal," the streets of Jackson become less safe by the day.
What’s worse, they say, is that it looks like the law is being broken directly by Davis himself.
“The chief took total responsibility for all decisions and said that he makes them and they’re his alone, so as far as we know and to this point, the buck stops with the current chief,” said Cory.
Attempts to contact Davis for comment were unsuccessful.
But the officers that are still working on modified assignment, on administrative leave, or who were fired without due process have been cleared by the internal affairs division of the department that Davis runs. That has impacted morale on multiple levels, attorneys say.
“By not having the department or the chief or whoever it is following their implemented policy of internal affairs investigations and their findings is very very demeaning, and it’s something you can’t put your life on the line for,” Springer said.
That's why police officers are leaving the department, they said. The fear that they will be in a position where only use of force will save their life but could ruin their livelihood is more than officers are willing to sift through anymore.
And numbers-wise, Cory said it boils down to 140 officers on the street, when it should be about twice that.
“I feel very strongly about this matter because for 12 years as the Mayor of the City of Jackson, we had one of the most top notch departments in the country,” Danks said. “Police officers, in addition to having to worry about a target on their back, are now being attacked internally to the detriment of the people of this city.”