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Video shows Ridgeland PD dropping off homeless person in Fondren, mayor says

Updated: Nov. 7, 2020 at 4:20 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson city officials say they finally have evidence of something they’ve been suspecting a long time - police from other jurisdictions dropping off homeless people in the capital city.

A video obtained by WLBT on Saturday shows what appears to be a Ridgeland police officer pulling into the parking lot in the 2700 block of Old Canton Road in Fondren, and dropping off an individual there.

According to surveillance, a woman is let out of the back seat of the cruiser, and as she is putting her belongings on the ground, the officer drives away.

The incident occurred on Saturday morning, in the parking lot of a business located at 2727 Old Canton.

Jackson police say they were later called to Cups, a nearby coffee shop, to pick up the woman.

JPD spokesman Sam Brown said the department’s crisis intervention team was sent to the location. He said the department was still looking into the matter Saturday afternoon.

Ridgeland Cpl. Justin Crawford said the individual was picked up by a Ridgeland officer along County Line Road earlier in the day. “He had dealt with the lady several times and she requested to be dropped off (in Fondren),” he said.

Crawford did not know if the woman was homeless, nor would he say what she was doing when the officer picked her up.

“She had been in the area a few times and he asked her if she needed a ride," Crawford said.

WLBT asked again what the woman was doing when she was picked up, and Crawford refused to answer.

He said he was advised by his lieutenant to share only the information he had provided, and that additional questions would have to be answered next week.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar said he had seen the video and plans to reach out to Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee to discuss it.

He also has contacted the Mississippi American Civil Liberties Union.

“This is a violation of jurisdiction and a violation of civil liberties,” he said.

He believes the footage is clear evidence of police dropping off a vagrant in the city of Jackson.

The video comes as the city, Hinds County and the state work to address the vagrancy problem across the county.

“There have been reports that this has been going on for a long time,” Lumumba said. “This is the first time we’ve gotten a video. This is evidence of what people have been seeing.”

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