Mayor Lumumba speaks out on police reform

Mayor Lumumba speaks out on police reform

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The demand for changes in police departments are being echoed by protests nationally and here in the Capital City.

Mayor Chokwe Lumumba believes there is a heightened sense of structural failure in the criminal justice system that requires communities to be engaged.

National and local protests over police brutality bring those tensions to the forefront. Lumumba said his administration agrees with a national campaign for police reform.

"8 Can't Wait" is calling for the immediate change to police policies across the country. Included among the policies are the banning of chokeholds and for officers to intervene and stop excessive force by other officers.

“Out of the eight different items that have been listed nationally, the City of Jackson already employs seven of those policing requirements,” said the mayor.

But he said more involvement is needed to address circumstances that lead to crime. Another tool is the Citizen's Review Board.

"Where the community not only has the opportunity to make certain that justice is being dispersed, but they have an opportunity to be invested in the community sensitivity training that happens early on," said Lumumba.

The mayor said he is fully committed to continued police training, that training including sensitivity training.

The state's largest police force is below projected numbers due to attrition and fewer people joining the force.

A fourth police recruiting class planned for this summer has been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Copyright 2020 WLBT. All rights reserved.