Jackson mayor compares Capitol Complex expansion bill to apartheid, cites lack of accountability for residents

Chokwe Antar Lumumba also refutes one lawmaker’s claim that Capitol Police would have ‘exclusive’ jurisdiction in district
Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 8:19 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson’s mayor said state lawmakers are trying to control a large portion of Mississippi’s largest city without any accountability from those who live here by creating a court system with judges who are appointed — not elected — and giving Capitol Police the power to patrol there.

“They’re talking about a court system in which the judges would not be elected by Jackson residents, would be appointed by the Supreme Court, a police force that has no accountability to the residents of Jackson,” Mayor Chowke Antar Lumumba said. “As we’re watching these challenges happen not only from Ferguson, but all across the country in which people are tasked with policing people but have no accountability to them, it reminds me of apartheid.”

The new court system and expansion of the Capitol Complex Improvement District only happens if House Bill 1020 passes.

It would extend the CCID from 8.6 square miles to more than 26, running from Highway 80 border to County Line Road, but only including a small portion of west Jackson.

South Jackson is not included at all.

Supporters say the expansion would allow Jackson police to focus on high crime areas outside the district, allowing Capitol Police to patrol smaller crimes within the district.

Historically, property crimes have far outpaced violent crime in the northeastern part of the city, which would be in the proposed expansion.

“It reminds me of a colonial power, in where they dictate who’s our leadership, they put the military force over us, and we’re just supposed to pay taxes to the king. That’s all we’re supposed to do is pay taxes to the king,” Lumumba said.

Lawmakers also have their own ideas about how that state-run district should operate, too.

During an interview on SuperTalk, host Gerard Gibert pressed State Rep. Nick Bain (R-Corinth) on how JPD would work with Capitol Police, because the two have concurrent jurisdiction.

“Is there overlap with JPD? When you’re in the city limits on that?” Gibert said.

“There’s going to be completely exclusive jurisdiction for Capitol Police and they’re going to have their own judicial district,” Bain said.

Gibert asks Bain if the legislature has the power to do that, and Bain reminds him that the district itself already exists.

They’re simply expanding it.

“So you can encroach upon a city? We’re taking over your law enforcement?” Gibert said.

“Jackson, for all intents and purposes, pretty much agrees with this,” Bain said.

Lumumba vehemently refuted that claim when asked about Bain’s remarks Monday.

“He lied to the people on SuperTalk. The city has not okayed it, he has never met with me to know what my position is on that. And that not only represents an issue in terms of failing to meet with me as mayor, but I’ve heard legislator after legislator talk about all of these bills that are introduced by people who don’t live in Jackson, and, at the same time, aren’t communicating with the people who do,” Lumumba said.

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