JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – New police reform is sweeping through the Jackson Police Department aimed at avoiding deadly outcomes and building trust in police encounters with the public.
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba issued this executive order last Friday outlining eight policy changes and additions to reform tactics from easily escalating to become deadly.
Joining many other cities around the nation Jackson now forbids officers using chokeholds or any other action limiting suspects breathing.
“There is no need to put a knee on someone’s neck,” Mayor Lumumba said. “There’s no need to choke someone and so we believe that acts of creating community safety can be accomplished without any of those things.”
In the new policy, officers must now intervene and immediately report to a supervisor when witnessing excessive force by a colleague.
“We’ve seen circumstances in our city, but I believe the George Floyd circumstance represents a seminal moment in the history of our country in which people are demanding change that’s been long overdue,” Mayor Lumumba continued.
The order goes on to forbid officers from shooting anyone without a verbal warning and exhaust all other options before resorting to deadly force. The Jackson Police Officers Association took issue with that in a statement arguing when confronting an armed suspect this is a not a survivable tactic.
“The community is closest to the solutions,” Mayor Lumumba added. “As we develop at home more community policing and community engagement, and community sensitivity I think that we will all reap the benefit in the end.”
The Jackson Police Association also pointed out the JPD force is over 95% black and no systemic racism should be used as a generalized label on the department. The mayor’s executive order also forbids any officers from firing into a moving vehicle while requiring extensive reporting anytime an officer threatens or uses force in an arrest.
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