Several people challenge Jackson City Council’s new policies on public comments


JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Jackson City Council ended public comments during work sessions back in mid March, when Mississippi saw its first coronavirus cases to try to contain the spread.

Thursday, council made another alteration to end public in-person public statements altogether – the goal again: to contain the spread.

But Candace Abdul-Tawwab with Jackson People’s Assembly said this is fishy. She believes council’s reasons go far beyond just COVID-19 precautions.

“I definitely thing it’s deeper,” Abdul-Tawwab said. “I did feel as though this could be in response to the amount of pressure that’s being placed on them to lead with compassion and understanding of the people that they represent.”

Council President Aaron Banks rejected those claims.

“It has nothing to do with trying to reject a certain group,” Banks said. “This is safety.”

Bezaleel Jupiter with the Party for Socialism and Liberation said it’s ok with the restrictions, under one condition, which he said has not been met yet.

“As long as there are more precautions made to where people are actually able to access public comment and have their voice heard,” Jupiter said.

President Banks said council has some kinks to work out, and they will work to meet people’s requests, but that COVID-19 is prioritized over everything.

“This thing is serious,” Banks said.

President Banks added that more people have lost their lives in Mississippi alone to coronavirus than in the past two previous U-S wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and that these restrictions are solely a result of that statistic, and nothing else.


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