Council asks JPD to refer gun crime cases to U.S. Attorney’s Office

Jackson City Council discusses water issues at a previous meeting.
Jackson City Council discusses water issues at a previous meeting.(WLBT)
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 7:52 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Jackson City Council wants more gun cases to be turned over to the federal government for prosecution.

Tuesday, the council approved a non-binding resolution asking the Jackson Police Department to refer criminal cases involving felons with firearms to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The resolution was introduced by Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes who said he recently met with officials from the USAO and FBI.

He says the help is needed, in part, due to shortages within the Jackson Police Department and Hinds County District Attorney’s Office.

“The District Attorney’s Office is doing a great job [but] they’re short and I think that the Legislature is trying to give them more prosecutors,” Stokes said. “If we can get some federal help, we need to request it and we need to tell them ‘Thank you.’”

So far this year, 130 homicides have been reported in the capital city, 23 fewer than the record 153 reported in 2021, but two more than reported in 2020, WLBT figures show.

Stokes didn’t have the statistics but said many of those crimes are committed by previously convicted felons with firearms.

“Now, we all know it’s against the law for a felon to have a gun. But they feel that it’s better to have it and don’t need it than to need it and don’t have it,” he said. “That criminal mentality is fueling the fire of criminal activity in Jackson.”

“Our murder rate is too high. Our carjackings, and just [felonies] as a whole, [are] just too high,” he said.

While many violent crimes committed in the capital city do not fall under the purview of the U.S. Attorney, others do, such as carjackings and incidents involving felons in possession of firearms.

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