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City Council vs. Mayor Lumumba as lawyers are hired to fight open carry suspension

Updated: Apr. 29, 2020 at 7:48 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The mayor and city council are at odds in the city of Jackson.

The Council voted unanimously to oppose Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba’s Open Carry Suspension.

The Jackson City Council hired DeShun T. Martin as independent counsel representing the city in opposition to Mayor Chokwe Lumumba’s suspension of the state’s Open Carry Law.

Council members De’Keither Stamps and Aaron Banks said the city’s legal department recused themselves from involvement after writing the executive order.

That prompted the council to look to outside legal representation against a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday. Councilman Stamps says he carries a firearm and supports the open carry law.

“All the people who’ve lost their family members, your heart goes out to them. But the law and dragging this city’s liability into it and the taxpayers money into paying lawsuits upon lawsuits, that’s what the city council is shielding itself from,” said Ward 4 Councilman De’Keither Stamps.

“We know that we face a problem with gun violence and with the type of guns we have in the streets,” said Ward 6 Councilman Aaron Banks. “This still is not an excuse, nor reason for us to not uphold nor to obey the laws of the constitution of the State of Mississippi.”

"It is my intent to get this matter litigated fully, quickly and with as least expense to the taxpayers of the City of Jackson as possible," said Independent Counsel attorney DeShun T. Martin.

Officials reported that Mayor Lumumba has hired private legal counsel to represent him in the federal lawsuit.

Jackson Communications Director Candice Cole said given that this is a pending litigation the mayor would not make a comment.

A press briefing to address several Executive Orders currently in place will be held Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

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