Police reform in the Magnolia State

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV)– Senate republicans unveiled plans for police reform. House democrats want to entirely ban chokeholds. While senate republicans want to withhold federal dollars to agencies allowing them.

It’s an image seen all over the world, the officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck.

Three other officers watched it happen. Mayor George Flaggs says it was a great first step for the president to recognize injustice and inequity in arresting protocols.

He says Vicksburg is under control.

“We have zero tolerance when it comes to police brutality and we do a lot of

sensitivity training and protocol training on how to use weapons and how to approach vehicles,” said Mayor Flaggs. “I don’t see of anything we need to do. We are ahead of the curve.”

Mayor Flaggs says the city police doesn’t use chokeholds.

“Chokeholds are not permissible in the City of Vicksburg at least I haven’t recognized them since I’ve been here,” said Mayor Flagg. “Keep in mind now, if it is one-on-one I think an officer should be able to defend himself.”

Sheriff Travis Patten in Adams County credits the relationship building they’ve done with their community for their success with dealing in hostile situations.

“I can name off 9 different times where we’ve been in hostile situations where we’ve been able to walk away where we were called into action on and that was because of de-escalation training and that was because of crisis training we’ve learned over the years,” said Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten.

He’s only in favor of chokeholds when he says deadly force is authorized, no other time.

“When you are in a fight for your life or you are in a fight for your family at that point anything goes,” said Sheriff Patten. “Now I’m not talking about shooting anybody in the back. I’m not talking about shooting fleeing suspects in the back. I’m not talking about shooting someone who you just asked for their driver’s license. I’m talking about when you’re in hand-to-hand combat. You’ve been disarmed and you are fighting for your life. At the end of the day officers are just like citizens, we want to go home to our families. So when President Trump said that chokeholds are banned except for deadly force I can’t say I disagree with that.”

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