JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A lawsuit has been filed accusing Capitol police of using excessive force and violating civil rights.
On the night of December 11, 2022, Capitol police were chasing a car they believed was stolen. The chase ended at an apartment complex in South Jackson, where the occupants of the vehicle fled.
As the passengers ran through the apartment complex, Capitol police officers opened fire.
“I was at home in the bed. As I was getting ready to turn over, a bullet come through my daughter’s room and into my room, and it hit me in the arm. And the bullet is still in there,” said Latasha Smith, the plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Smith filed the lawsuit against Capitol police, accusing their commanders and officers of acting recklessly and using excessive force.
Similar to other incidents involving Capitol police, neither Smith nor her attorneys said they have been given any information from the department.
“No information has been released to us, so we’re forced to file a lawsuit to get justice and to find that information. Now, it’s important to note that the Capitol police were operating outside of their jurisdiction. They were operating outside of the law, and they were operating outside of their policies and procedure. And due to their misconduct, it led to Miss Smith’s injuries,” said Attorney Dennis Sweet IV.
Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) recently signed legislation that broadens the jurisdiction of Capitol police. This move does not make Smith feel safer.
“Police are there to protect and to serve, but who’s going to protect the Blacks from Capitol police?” she questioned.
“It’s not that we don’t want good police. We just want police that are going to act reasonable. And in this case, when you have police firing into houses that are occupied for nonviolent offenses, that is not reasonable,” said Sweet.
According to a statement from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS), the case has been turned over to the Attorney General’s Office, and no further comment will be made.