JPD accused of misleading public in “very disturbing” news conference by former spokesman

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Former Jackson police officers are questioning the evidence that was presented during a news conference on Tuesday. They said some of the evidence has been in possession of the department for decades, including a rocket launcher.

“This is so disappointing and to mislead the public about this instrument is very disturbing. There is nothing new about it for the public to be alarmed about and it’s existence. It’s been off the streets for SEVERAL YEARS,” said former JPD spokesman Tyree Jones on Facebook.

He continued, “Now people are in an uproar about a rocket launcher or rocket launchers being in the possession of violent offenders when that is NOT true. You can’t present an instrument of this magnitude and not give MORE information about the recovery of it. This is not associated with the violent crimes in Jackson, AT ALL.”

Another former officer, James McGowan, commented on Jones’ post about the rocket launcher. He said, “That is the one I recovered about 20 years ago during a search warrant.”

During the news conference to address recent gun violence, one of the items that was presented as evidence was a rocket launcher. Chief Davis told 12 News on Wednesday that the rocket launcher was “mistakenly” put out on the display table during the news conference and that it had been in the department’s possession for years. He was not present at the meeting due to a City Council meeting, according to JPD.

Councilman Aaron Banks (Ward 6) said neighbors have brought concerns to him over the rocket launcher.

“I’ve had people call me and say, ‘We got people in Jackson with rocket launchers now?'”

Banks said an open records request has been made to see when the items that were shown on Tuesday were seized. He said he’s more concerned about seeing results for recent crimes.

“The most important to me is what information can we get to help bring some type of hope. What specific plan does JPD have to address crime and to stop the bleeding?” he stated.

According to Banks, the City Council met with Chief Davis on Monday and presented specific goals. They hope they will be met to keep the community safe.

12 News asked Chief Davis about his recent absence. He said he has leave time that he can take whenever he wants. Davis said a meeting with the City Council was scheduled when he was off, and he didn’t know about it.

“So it will be great to have meetings when I’m here, so I can address whatever concerns. Because one thing about it, I’m in the community,” said Davis.

He continued, “It’s sad that people said that I did not show up for a meeting, and that’s so unfair, and it’s false. Because I’m in meetings and wards all across the city when I don’t see anyone else.”

Watch the interview with Chief Davis below:

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