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Residents react to ACLU’s comments about JPD checkpoints

Published: Feb. 19, 2022 at 10:41 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -An initiative to combat crime here in the city of Jackson is being called into question.

One organization is calling for an end to Jackson Police checkpoints after dozens of “complaints” of harassment from residents.

Jackson Police Chief James Davis and his team started The Ticket, arrest, tow) initiative earlier this year to combat crime.

“We done made over one-hundred felony arrests since we started in January,” said Chief Davis. “It’s making a difference, and I’m committed to doing all we can to keep Jackson safe.”

However, after dozens of complaints from Jackson residents about harassment and targeting poor, black neighborhoods, the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi has stepped in. They say the checkpoints are unconstitutional.

ACLU recently issued a letter to city leaders in Jackson to put an end to checkpoints in the city.

“We have worked with the city of Jackson and JPD successfully on several occasions in the past. However, we are greatly concerned by the unconstitutional intent of TAT initiative. If JPD continues these checkpoints, we are ready to vindicate the rights of our fellow Jacksonians.”

Chief Davis says the checkpoints are not focusing on one race. Instead, they’re set up to help clean up the streets.

“They took it wrong like it’s something that we are targeting a certain group of people,” said Chief Davis. “Our intent is to get wanted individuals off the streets.”

Even so, Jackson residents have mixed reactions about the checkpoints.

“Wherever high crime at, that’s where they need to be,” said Jackson resident Arthur Harris. “It will take some of the guns off and some of the criminals that’s out there, that shouldn’t be out there.”

However, Jackson resident Robert Ellis has a different outlook.

“Just because you catch a gun through a checkpoint, that don’t mean you stopped something from happening.”

State Representative De’Keither Stamps says while he supports the checkpoints, he wants them to be conducted fairly.

“I think that we just need to spot them all around town all over. Police everybody the same, and of course, everybody can follow the law. Don’t be on one side of town because crime is all over town.”

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