PEARL, Miss. (WJTV) – Pearl Mayor Jake Windham addressed the recent death of a United States Postal Service employee after Pearl police officers chased a man into the City of Jackson.
“I am saddened and sickened at the death of the post office employee as a result of the actions by Brandon Andrews. This is senseless. Our officers do not like to pursue, but it is their job. It’s important to understand that the people that run are not simply everyday folks looking to avoid a ticket. An overwhelming majority of them are criminals looking to avoid arrest for far more serious offenses than speeding,” said Windham.
According to the mayor, the suspect, 20-year-old Brandon Andrews, was out on felony bond from the Flowood Police Department for possession with intent to sell narcotics while in possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm. Windham also said Andrews is a suspect in a capital murder case in Jackson.
The mayor said Andrews’ criminal history also includes armed robbery, shooting into a vehicle and DUI.
When asked if police knew about Andrews’ criminal history before the chase happened, Windham said the officers did not.
Pearl leaders said police tried to stop Andrews for allegedly speeding on Interstate 20 West just before 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 21. They said Andrews didn’t stop, and the chase began into Jackson.
Andrews allegedly crashed into a U.S. Postal Service vehicle on Maria Drive, just off McDowell Road. The Postal Service employee was injured and transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson. He died due to his injuries.
Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart identified the victim as Brad Pennington, 32. Grisham-Stewart said his cause of death appears to be blunt force head trauma from ejection of postal vehicle.
Police said Andrews fled the scene after the crash, but he was taken into custody shortly afterwards.
Pearl police said they found a 30-round extended magazine in Andrews’ vehicle after the crash.
Andrews was taken to the Pearl Police Department and later to the Rankin County Detention Center. He is facing multiple charges.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba released the following statement to WJTV 12 News about the chase.
First off, I want to send my condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of the U.S. Postal Service carrier who lost her life today in Jackson. The postal truck was struck by the driver of a vehicle who was involved in a police chase with Pearl police. As a result, the carrier died from injuries sustained in the crash.
According to a media release from the City of Pearl, the pursuit began after the suspect failed to pull over for a traffic stop.
I want to reiterate that police pursuits that enter our City from multiple jurisdictions do not make us safer. There are often tragic outcomes like this one for minor traffic stops, and we have experienced it before. What often isn’t considered is the effect these pursuits have on innocent bystanders and it is something we believe needs to be changed.
We aren’t anti-pursuit. We are anti-pursuit for minor violations which often spillover into tragic consequences for our community. With the advent of new technology, such as a growing camera surveillance network and tag readers, we can apprehend suspects without endangering the public.
If our effort is public safety, it has to be public safety in every regard.
We renew our request to the state Legislature to restrict the offenses for which multi-jurisdictional pursuits can occur in the City of Jackson.”Chokwe A. Lumumba, Mayor of Jackson
Windham responded to Lumumba’s statement. He said Lumumba did not condemn Andrews for running from the police, breaking the law or causing the death of Pennington. Windham said that was “unacceptable.”