JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - “The public doesn’t realize the gang members we come into contact with.”
Those words are from United States Attorney Mike Hurst, who in a press conference Monday pointed to elected officials in Jackson, telling them to stop pretending there aren’t serious crime issues in the capital city.
“Quit denying there’s a gun problem in Jackson. Quit denying there’s a crime problem, a drug problem, a gang problem in our capital city," Hurst said. "The only way we can truly address these problems is to identify them, acknowledge them, and then put our heads together and work together to combat these problems.”
Hurst confronted local judges with the fact that turning accused criminals back out on the street almost immediately is giving them the sense that they can’t be touched.
“To our local judges in Jackson, quit releasing and re-releasing and re-releasing violent criminals when there is evidence and facts to show that they’re a danger to our communities,” he said.
The message was the same across the board to the ones committing the crimes in Jackson, too. U.S. Marshals Inspector Carlos Cosby made this promise.
“We’re going to find you. We’re going to find you and put you in jail. If there’s a warrant for you or you’re out doing wrong and they give us a warrant, we will find you,” Cosby said.
“I want them to be looking over their shoulder at all times knowing that a U.S. Deputy Marshal might be there waiting to take them down,” Hurst said.
The message is serious, and it's dire, but Hurst made it clear to the citizens of Jackson that nobody is giving up on making the capital city safe again.
“And we don’t care if it’s black, white, purple or green, we see these individuals as human beings, as citizens, and we’re going to do everything we can to protect them.”