JFP Reporting on Police Shootings and Excessive Use of Force

An archive of impactful journalism on the problems with policing in Mississippi

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JPD Officers Indicted for Murder Present for Earlier Civilian Shootings

A grand jury has indicted Desmond Barney, Anthony Fox and Lincoln Lampley for second-degree murder of George Robinson.

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New Law Enforcement Committee Will Monitor Policing Responses in Jackson

The death of George Floyd inspired newly elected Jackson City Council President and Ward 6 representative Aaron Banks to kick off his one-year tenure as president by including a law-enforcement committee among his slate of 10 reconfigured committees last week.

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Reeves' Tweet 'Messy, Loud and Wrong,' Protest Leader Says

A Mississippi Senate leader and a protest organizer are speaking out against Republican Gov. Tate Reeves's tweet Sunday that said the “liberal media” is ignoring new coronavirus cases that could have been caused by protests and blaming a surge of holiday barbecue parties.

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Activist: 'We Need to Flood the Polls as We Flooded the Streets to Protest'

Calyn Stringfellow wants more young people to get politically engaged and to register and turn out to vote, hence the program she held in front of Jackson City Hall.

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Legislature In Overtime, Criminal Justice Reform Top Priority

Efforts to change the Mississippi flag first appeared stalled out: Lt. Gov. 
Delbert Hosemann condemned the effort to a committee, which showed no intention of calling it up.

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OPINION: What Side Are You On? Racism Is Dividing Nation Along Line of Morality

"This election year will force America to choose between two very different ideas. What side are you on? Yes, America, there are two sides. We have arrived at the inevitable clash of different ideas and visions for the future of this country."

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Mayor Lumumba Bans Police Chokeholds, Restricts Firing at Moving Vehicles, More

Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba, in an executive order today, prohibits the Jackson Police Department from using choke-holds, knee-on-neck or any other tactic that restricts breathing in an amendment of its use-of-force policy.

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Mayoral Executive Order Amending the City of Jackson Police Department's Use of Force Policy

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba signed an executive order amending Jackson Police Department's use of force policy.

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CITY: ‘Deeper Than Racism’: Jackson Declares ‘Classism’ a Public Health Crisis

To attract more funds to counter the impact of socioeconomic factors on health disparity, the Jackson City Council unanimously declared classism as a public-health crisis on June 9, saying it is recommitting itself to improving the quality of life and health of the underclass.

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Criminal Justice Reform Alive at Capitol, But Gang Bill, Teacher Pay Raises Dead for Now

Mississippi legislators’ ambitious plans for funding initiatives like state employee and teacher pay raises have taken a backseat to dealing with the coronavirus crisis, which is obliterating both state revenues and best-laid plans for the 2020 session.

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Mississippi DA Releases Case Files in Fatal Police Shooting

A Mississippi district attorney has released evidence files in the case of a white officer who fatally shot a black man during a 2015 traffic stop.

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OPINION: No ‘Free Kills’ Unless We Are Black in Jackson

"The mayor claims to be against police murder. The “no free kills” banner Lumumba surrogates recently rallied under obfuscates that no real costs are meted out when the Jackson police kill Black people."

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Families Accuse JPD Of Police Brutality, Demand Justice

Four Jackson families whose loved ones were victims of local police violence, three of them fatally, spoke out yesterday, publicly calling for justice in the wake of national awareness over police brutality.

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OPINION: What Is Wrong with America Is Us White People

This word is for white people. I will start with my own identity: I am a white, heterosexual, 43-year-old man from Mississippi. There is a crisis of belief among what has felt like the vast majority of our white sisters and brothers throughout this country. Historically, we don't believe people who are not white.

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OPINION: Mississippians Can’t Breathe if Gov. Tate Reeves Keeps Validating Symbols of Hate

Columnist Duvalier Malone writes that Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves news to immediately take down all symbols of hate, including the state flag, so Mississippi can begin the process of racial healing and reconciliation.

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Hinds Supervisor Archie Wants Police Reform; County Studying Homelessness

Hinds County District 2 Supervisor David L. Archie has called for police reforms in the wake of the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minnesota, which led to protests around the world in the last two weeks.

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Historic Protests For Black Lives Sweep Mississippi Over Weekend

Thousands of protesters took to the streets across the state of Mississippi this weekend, calling for freedom from racial injustice and an end to police brutality.

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Governor Sends National Guard to D.C., Unclear Whether Will Patrol Jackson Protests

The State of Mississippi has sent members of the Mississippi National Guard to Washington, D.C., amid the heavy protest actions taking place around the White House and the nation.

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Dropping Case of White Ex-Cop a 'Knife' to Trust, Rep Says

A Mississippi lawmaker on Thursday criticized the state attorney general's decision to drop the prosecution of a white former police officer who was indicted in the 2015 shooting death of an African American man after a traffic stop.

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Mayor Lumumba Issues Statement in Support of George Floyd Demonstration and Black Lives Matter Movement

“Today, as we all pause to commemorate the life of George Floyd, I extend my heartfelt sympathies to his family and loved ones. I stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all of those engaging in civil disobedience against police brutality and the abuse of black bodies across the country and around the world."

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Jackson Protest to Honor George Floyd, Call for End to Systemic Racism

Calvert White, vice president of Alcorn State University’s chapter of the NAACP, says George Floyd is a “martyr,” killed by an oppressive power complex that affects everyone in the country.

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Mississippi Governor: Protests Good, But No Place for 'Agitators'

Protesters marched in Mississippi's capital city on Monday, with some stopping to lie on the ground outside Jackson's main police station to remember George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for several minutes.

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Protesters in Some Cities Target Confederate Monuments

Protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd, a black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed his knee on his neck, targeted Confederate monuments in multiple cities.

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Mississippi Mayor Apologizes for Tweets on George Floyd

A white Mississippi mayor who caused an outrage with his tweets about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has apologized but says he won’t resign, prompting protesters to return to City Hall for a third day Sunday to insist the mayor leave office.

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After Video Emerges, JPD Investigating Officer Over Rough Treatment, Threats

A Jackson police officer captured by video Friday pinning a young man by the neck backward to the top of a car is on administrative leave pending an Internal Affairs investigation.

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OPINION: From Curfew to SWAT Team, Mayor Lumumba’s Police State Expanding

Suggesting he is against the governor’s hasty reopening of the economy and in response to the COVID-19 virus, while jabbering about “science and data,” the mayor says “we” don’t have the luxury of “a wait-and-see approach.”

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OPINION: Mayor Lumumba Remains Silent on Predatory Culture of Jackson Police

Recently, at a press conference Mayor Chokwe Lumumba said that none of the “outside agitators” who opposed the disarming of Jackson’s overwhelming black population cared enough about the issue of innocent children’s lives being taken to say their names.

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OPINION: Sick and Tired: What It Feels Like to Be Black in America

Columnist Duvalier Malone writes that well-intentioned white people must “step outside the bubble of your white privilege” to make a real difference for black Americans’ equality and safety.

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OPINION: In 50 Years from Gibbs-Green Deaths to Ahmaud Arbery Killing, White Supremacy Still Lives

Informed by the modern civil rights and Black Power movements, Jackson State University students organized in the 1960s to protest persistent white supremacy in the state and on their campus. Those demonstrations began annually in earnest in 1964.

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John Knight III's Police Brutality Lawsuit Will Proceed, Hinds Judge Rules

A lawsuit accusing the City of Jackson of police brutality will move forward after a hearing this morning.

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Racist Policing in Madison County Target of New Federal Consent Decree

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department engaged in unconstitutional, racially discriminatory policing practices that disproportionately targeted black residents, a Southern District of Mississippi judge ruled last week.

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New Body Cameras Could Make JPD 'Less Aggressive' If Used Well

The Jackson Police Department will join various other police agencies across the United States that require officers to wear body cameras.

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Gipson: Officers Were 'Only Trying to Help' When They Shot His Father

Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson said he does not blame the officers involved in the shooting death of his father, Harry Gipson.

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Ag Commissioner's Father Dies in 'Officer Involved Shooting'

The father of Mississippi's agriculture commissioner has died, and authorities are investigating whether he was shot by a sheriff's deputy.

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State May Block Naming Jackson Officers Involved in Shootings

The public-transparency efforts of the City of Jackson in the last year may be for naught if legislation working through the Mississippi Legislature to protect identities of officers who shoot people becomes law.

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Behind the Badge: Two JPD Officers Who Shot Multiple People in Jackson

After about a year of asking, the Jackson Free Press learned the names, current status and in eight out of nine cases, the details of officer-involved shootings since Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba took office in July 2017, promising transparency and police reform.

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Jackson Cop Involved in 3 Shootings; Teen Shot 2 Times in Back, Family Says

Officer Anthony Veasey was involved in three separate shootings in Jackson in 14 months since November 2017, including an exchange of gunfire that hit an 18-year-old two times in the back and five times in the leg, the teenager's family tells the Jackson Free Press.

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EDITORIAL: Mayor Must Repair City's Transparency Related to Policing, Crime

After asking for more than a year, the Jackson Free Press finally received the names and current status of Jackson police officers who shot people in the capital city since Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba became mayor in July 2017.

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Mayor: No ID of Cops in Head Trauma Death; Other JPD Officers in Shootings Finally Revealed

The mayor will not reveal the names of officers accused of killing George Robinson with a head blow, but the City of Jackson finally provided names and details about 12 officers involved in nine shootings since 2017.

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'They Brutalized My Brother': George Robinson's Family Accuse JPD of 'Murder'

"You all are not at a press conference today. You are at a crime scene," attorney Dennis Sweet IV told reporters gathered next to an early 2000s Impala in the Washington Addition on Thursday.

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Lumumba Added to 'Smart Crime Initiative' Despite Policing Decisions at Home

Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba is joining 15 mayors from cities in the U.S. in a Mayors for Smart Crime Initiative, the Center for American Progress, announced today.

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Jackson’s Tripartite Assault on Crime; Cops on Leave After Man's Death from Head Injury

The latest murders in Jackson mean that the capital city could be on track for more homicides than in 2018, which was the highest on record since late in the crack era in the 1990s.

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City: Man, 62, May Have Died After Altercation with Jackson Police

The City of Jackson sent out a cryptic and short press statement at 5:12 p.m. today, indicating that an older man may have died from an encounter with Jackson police on Sunday, Jan. 13, after a low-level misdemeanor stop.

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Due to Murder Spike, Lumumba Pledges More Surveillance, Prevention Efforts

Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba navigated between his "radical" criminal-justice reform stances and his decisions to increase policing surveillance in his press conference Monday, Jan. 14.

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Mayor Lumumba on Murders: Police Cannot 'Enter the Minds and Stop These People'

Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba sent out a statement addressing several murders that roiled the capital city over the weekend—from a preacher killed in the Washington Addition to a teenager killed in a Walmart parking lot.

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Lumumba Calls 'Foul' on MBI's New Position on Officer-Involved Shootings

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba says the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations alerted the City of Jackson last week that it will no longer take on officer-involved shooting cases in Jackson.

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Family of Woman Killed by JPD Sues for $10 Million

Eight months after two Jackson Police Department officers fired fatal shots at 21-year-old Crystalline Barnes following a traffic stop, her family filed a $10 million federal lawsuit today against three JPD officers and the City of Jackson in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

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Release JPD Officers' Names in 72 Hours, Task Force Recommends

The rise in officer-involved shootings under Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba, now at nine, and the lack of transparency thereafter posed an issue for the self-proclaimed most radical mayor in America.

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EDITORIAL: City Needs to Name Officers Who Shot Citizens Without Delay

We can understand the need to protect officers and their families, but it is not acceptable to allow it based on a reason shrouded in secrecy.

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Activists Delay Officer-Involved-Shooting Task Force's Final Report

Members of Jackson's officer-involved-shooting task force started showing up at the Porter Building across from City Hall on Monday, Aug. 27, prepared for what was supposed to be their final meeting before handing policy recommendations to the mayor.

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Task Force Draft: Release Names in Officer-involved Shootings Within 48 Hours

The Officer ID Task Force met Monday night to discuss a draft of a policy to identify Jackson police officers who shoot people. The draft policy says the City will release the names the officers who discharge their guns within 48 hours.

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DA Smith on Police Shootings, Being a Victim

For the better part of last week's officer-identification task-force meeting at the Jackson Municipal Art Gallery, some of the members didn't know they had a prominent guest.

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Grand Jurors Decline to Indict Officers in Shooting Deaths

Grand jurors in Mississippi's most populous county have declined to indict four officers involved in recent shooting deaths.

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EDITORIAL: Transparency in Officer Shootings Needs to Improve, Not Worsen

We now get even less information about officer-involved shootings. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations does not have to disclose information concerning any open or closed investigations except to law enforcement.

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Jackson Even Less Transparent with Officer-Involved Shootings?

Just one month after Mississippi Bureau of Investigations officially began handling officer-involved shootings in Jackson, it has been harder to get information previously available to citizens and reporters following these incidents.

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Citizens' Police Academy Graduates 30 People

About 30 Jacksonians are now official ambassadors between the local police and the community after graduating from the Jackson Police Citizen's Police Academy on June 18.

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Body Cams, Community Policing, Mental Health Funds on JPD's DOJ Wish List

The Jackson Police Department hopes to equip its officers with body cameras and increase its "community policing" capacity with funds from U.S. Department of Justice.

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Lawyers Say JPD Officer May Have Killed Twice, Demands More Names

Attorneys for the family of Crystalline Barnes, killed by Jackson police on Jan. 27, 2018, is demanding to know the names of officers who shot Jacksonians in incidents over the last several months.

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Baltimore Lawyer Names JPD Officer Who May Have Shot Crystalline Barnes

A lawyer for the family of 21-year-old Crystalline Barnes, who died in January when two Jackson Police Officers shot into her car following a traffic stop, stood alongside Barnes' young children and family members Monday as he demanded more transparency from the Jackson government.

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Officer ID Task Force Wrestles with Mission

Sixteen of Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba's 21 appointees to the officer-identification task force gathered at The Cedars in Fondren Monday night to decide if and how the Jackson Police Department will release names of police officers who are involved in shootings, as well as the timeframe in which that would take place.

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Inside Jackson’s Officer-Involved Shooting Task Force

Last month, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba had prepared to make an executive decision about how the Jackson Police Department would handle transparency following officer-involved shootings.

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City Announces Officer-Involved Shooting Task Force on Identifying Officers

Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba has established a task force to provide recommendations for developing a Jackson Police Department policy that will govern the release of names of officers involved in a shooting, and the timeframe during which the release should take place. They will meet bi-monthly.

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OPINION: The Mayor’s Task Farce

In the "most radical city on the planet," the "emperor" has no clothes. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba has repeatedly provided cover for the Jackson Police Department, which has consistently exacted violence on residents.

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Lawyer in Flowood Officer-Involved Shooting Wants Video, Answers

On the evening of March 8, a Flowood Police Department officer unloaded his gun into Von McDavid's car somewhere between four and eight times.

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Mayor Lumumba, Police Out of Sync?

If you walked into Jackson City Hall two weeks ago at just after 7 p.m., you would have seen the mayor's chief of staff, Safiya Omari, in a tense, loud exchange with public defender Adofo Minka, who had just criticized Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba publicly on how he is handling officer-involved shootings.

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Celebrating the Life of a Man JPD Killed

In Jackson, no one has taken to the streets for any of the last seven officer-involved shootings since Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba took office in July 2017 with none of the officers involved identified to date.

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UPDATED: City May ID Cops Who Discharge Weapons Within 72 Hours, Establishing Task Force

The City may require that the Jackson Police Department start releasing names of officers who fire on civilians within 72 hours of the incident.

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OPINION: Justice for Reggie Harper

For Reginald Harper, Jan. 4, 2018, is a day that will forever live in infamy. On this day Jackson Police Department officers shot at him.

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OPINION: Police Violence is Not Déjà Vu

In Jackson, police violence is not deja vu; it is real and systemic.

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OPINION: More Transparency from JPD Needed

It has been more than two weeks since two Jackson Police Department officers extra-judicially killed beloved daughter, mother and Jackson State University student Crystaline Barnes. The community waits in suspense for some facts on what happened on Jan. 27, 2018.

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EDITORIAL: Public Officials, Get Facts Straight on Project EJECT

There are two sides to the proverbial Project EJECT coin: what the public hears and what actually happens.

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EDITORIAL: JPD, Identify Cops Who Shoot Civilians

Mayor Lumumba's order does not address the glaring need for JPD to release names of officers who use excessive and/or fatal force on civilians—the progressive needle does not move without this transparent practice, which departments around the country embrace often within 48 or 72 hours of an incident.

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JPD Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting

Two unnamed male officers with the Jackson Police Department came into contact with two men at the 1300 block of Deer Park Street at about 3 p.m. Wednesday. A narcotics investigation resulted in an alleged shootout between officers and a man who's name has not yet been released.

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Inside JPD’s Use-of-Force Policy: Public Trust vs. Officer Safety

Lately Tetrina Blalock has been reconnecting with family members she has not seen in a while. Losing her cousin brought them together.

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UPDATED:After 7 Shootings, JPD Still Shields Officers

Lee Edward Bonner, 37, died after a Jackson police officer shot him on Feb. 21 in west Jackson. His family says it was "an overkill," while the City released scant information painting Bonner as the instigator of a shoot-out during a drug investigation gone awry.

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Number of JPD Officer-Involved Shootings Keeps Growing

With two deadly officer-involved shootings in the first two months of 2018, public scrutiny has grown over the Jackson Police Department's use-of-force policy and its decision to withhold officers' names until they complete an internal investigation, a criminal investigation and a Hinds County grand jury returns an indictment—a process that can take at least a year.

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Mayor: No More Mugshots Released of Juveniles, People Shot by Police

Monday was the day Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba signed an executive order to stop the Jackson Police Department to stop disseminating mugshots of those involved in officer-involved shootings, such as a young woman local police killed by firing into her car in late January.

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Unnamed Officers on Paid Leave for Shooting of 21-Year-Old Driver

Early Saturday morning, two Jackson police officers shot at 21-year-old Crystaline Barnes during a traffic stop in response to a report that Barnes may have forced another motorist off the roadway, but is so far only providing vague information about the deadly incident as well as whether its use-of-force policy for moving vehicles meets national guidelines.