JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The record-setting pace of homicides in Jackson prompted people of Ward 1 to hold a town hall with city and county authorities.
This comes after two deadly shootings in the past nine months outside of M-Bar leading the neighborhood associations to call the meeting with their councilman, police chief and the Hinds County Sheriff. They discussed new plans that M-Bar is taking to prevent crime and how all of Jackson is being protected.
In the wake of the most recent shooting outside M-Bar last month, Councilman Ashby Foote, the Ridgewood Neighborhood Association, and the M-Bar owner Richard Bradley hosted the town hall.
“We actually added sheriff’s deputies to the parking lot and parallel and adjacent to our business,” Bradley said. “We plan on donating 24-hour surveillance security to Jackson police to give access to that area.”
Those who live around this business felt the blame goes to city leadership for not supplying law enforcement with adequate resources to keep up with crime. They also don’t want M-Bar to shut down.
“You want to close a place that gives back to your community more than you do,” Tetrina Blalock who lives in Ward 1 argued. “M-Bar has given out book bags, cases of water. I have yet to see Mr. Foote do anything.”
The deadly incident at M-Bar is only one of 48 homicides Jackson has seen in 2021. The meeting quickly expanded to all crime Jackson faces with people demanding real change and permanent solutions from officers and deputies.
“It’s not normal to hear gunshots constantly going off in your neighborhood,” Natashia Wade of Jackson said. “If you hear gunshots, call the police. I just want to say it’s time for us to take our neighborhoods and communities back.”
Chief James Davis echoed previous statements on gun violence. He said the violence is mainly between people who are close with one another; making it difficult to stop. Hinds County Sheriff Lee Vance also discussed the possibility of more deputies to help patrol Jackson, once $500,000 is paid from the city.
According to Foote, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba was not at the meeting because the Ridgewood Homeowners Association didn’t want to invite him.