Lumumba explains his position on accepting federal help to deal with escalating violent crime

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba says he does not want war waged on the community

Lumumba explains his position on accepting federal help to deal with escalating violent crime

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - There have been 107 homicides in Jackson this year. With calls for help from county and federal law enforcement, Mayor Lumumba breaks down what he supports.

He also tells us why he believes there is a spike in violent crime and some of the ways the community, police, members of the clergy and city leaders can make a difference.

“My position is that I am willing to accept any sincere offer of assistance that exists. I think that when we ask the question what do I mean by sincere, the first would be to have a conversation with the administration about what their efforts and designs are. That did not take place. No one called me, in fact, there was an organized effort to call council members and I had to call to see what was happening”, said Mayor Lumumba.

The mayor says he is not in favor of military units or a military-styled response on city streets.

Mayor Lumumba said, “I do not want to see war waged on my community. That has been what has been offered is the Bill Barr, Donald Trump version of war of putting militarized units on our streets. That is something that I am not supportive of.”

Lumumba says he would like to see more effort put into mental health, food security, and jobs.

“When people are suffering at the hands of evictions. When people are suffering at the hands of not being employed and not being able to put dinner on the table all of that is a recipe for increased violence and increased harm on our community”, said the Mayor.

The mayor revealed to 3 On Your Side a plan to connect available job opportunities to the municipal court system.

“We look to have a job fair right at our municipal courts. So when young people are finding themselves in trouble or someone you know, just has too much time on their hands or if they are in need of resources and maybe that is a contributing factor to whatever nefarious activity they maybe engaged in, then we want to connect them to the opportunities right there in front of them," Mayor Lumumba said.

He is also hoping for federal programs such as Resource Fairs being offered in cities like Atlanta, where offenders are given a choice to straighten up or face the consequences.

“And they bring them to the point where they say listen we’re at a crossroads. You can either choose to pursue the life that you’re pursuing or you can take advantage of these resources that we want to lay out for you”, the mayor said.

Mayor Lumumba adds the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on crime nationwide.

The mayor said, “we’re seeing that there is a corresponding or correlating effect in terms of violence and so we have to be all hands on deck.”

We did reach out to U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst about federal help for the City of Jackson. He is out of town and unavailable for comment.

Copyright 2020 WLBT. All rights reserved.