JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - We cover several issues with Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba in our One On One Exclusive. The Mayor discusses his executive order amending the Police Department’s use of force policy and complaints about raw sewage.
Over the last few weeks there have been several news conferences with family members and lawyers in the Mario Clark, George Robinson and Lee Edward Bonner cases.
Mayor Lumumba said, “I’ll just say that I’m thankful to the District Attorney coming forward and making it clear that the city sent the information and sent over the cases to the District Attorney’s office more than a year ago.”
Clark died last year after he was arrested. His family says he had a mental condition. 62-year old George Robinson died, according to his family, as the result of a beating from Jackson police in January of 2019. Lee Edward Bonner died in February 2018 after being shot more than a dozen times, according to his sister.
JPD said Bonner was armed and the shooting was justifiable. Those officers were cleared by a grand jury. Mayor Lumumba says he took action.
“In the Mario Clark case not only did I fire the officers, which later the Civil Service Commission decided to bring them back but we’ve continued to pursue the claim of the termination of those officers. It’s actually coincidental that you mention that because I have two documents on my desk right here that reflect that the city has a pending case before the Mississippi Supreme Court for the termination of those officers and we felt that was the best way to move forward based on certain facts in the case”, the mayor said.
Mayor Lumumba signed an executive order amending the Jackson Police Department’s use of force policy after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“There’s no need to put a choke hold or put your knee on someone’s neck. There’s no need you know in the scope of trying to make certain that people are safe to do dehumanizing things, said Mayor Lumumba.”
There are continuing complaints about raw sewage in Jackson. The city is now working its way through a backlog of at least 800 calls.
Mayor Lumumba said, “we know that, you know, that the significant amount of sewage issues that went into the Pearl were directly correlated with the flood that took place back in February and so that is where the significant portion of the numbers took place. And because of that we’ve also been working with FEMA to address how our infrastructure has taken a more severe impact in the wake of that flood and so we are optimistic that we will receive funding through FEMA to address some critical issues.”