Mississippi police obstacles infringe rights, lawsuits say


Jackson, Mississippi (AP) —The couple Laquenza Morgan and Lauren Rhodes are in the neighborhood of an almost black working class where police officers are in the almost black capital of Mississippi, usually during the busiest hours people go. , Say do obstacles every few months to work or from work.

He is black, she is white, and they said officers treat them differently. Rhodes, who works in a tourist destination in Jackson, said she’s trying to prepare her ID to show to her officers, and they often don’t even see it.

“They will just say’please go through’,” she said Thursday.

Banker Morgan said he couldn’t remember a policeman waving without confirming his license. When asked if he thinks he’s being scrutinized more because he’s black, Morgan replied, “Oh, yes, yes, yes. 100%.”

With a black mayor, a black police chief, and mostly black police officers, Jackson checks his driver’s license and car insurance, and several police officers stop the car to find people who are being arrested. We guarantee that you have been using obstacles for many years. At a press conference on February 14, Democratic Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba described these as “useful tools” for police stations.

“These obstacles are important when there is a community that is plagued by carjacking and suffering from various forms of violence,” Lumumba said.

Morgan and Rhodes are one of several plaintiffs nominated in a lawsuit filed by the Mississippi Judicial Center on Thursday to challenge the constitutionality of Jackson’s police obstacles.

In class action proceedings, Jackson police violate the constitutional right to be freed from unjustified search and seizure by using obstacles in the majority of black and low-income areas to catch suspected criminals. It states.

Police launched the latest obstacles in January with an initiative called “Ticket Arrest Tow.”

“By regularly suspending people in certain areas for crime management purposes without believing that they have committed a crime, (the initiative) is when they enter or leave school or work, or for any other justifiable reason. So treat them like wanted suspects, “said the proceedings.

Justin Bickory, a spokesman for the mayor’s office, said Thursday that the city had not commented on the proceedings in dispute. He referred to Lumumba’s February 14 remarks about obstacles.

last Friday, WLBT-TV Jackson Police Chief James Davis reported that checkpoints were located in areas with high rates of violent crime.

“People think it’s an obstacle, and people misunderstand that we’re targeting a specific group of people. Our intention is to get the wanted individual out of the street. There are excellent warrants that people will be asked again for murder, weighted assault, carjacking, rape, and drive-by shooting. “

Police said more than 100 felony arrests had been carried out at the checkpoint since January.

Vangela M. Wade, president and chief executive officer of the Mississippi Justice Center, said the lack of a driver’s license, car registration and liability insurance “does not indicate criminal activity or intent.” She said she understands that the police chief and the Jackson people want to curb crime.

“Our proceedings are not intended to undermine the city’s efforts, respecting the rights of all and ensuring that the majority of blacks and low-income areas are not unduly destructive. That’s what we’re aiming for, “Wade said in a news release Thursday.

Morgan and Rhodes said obstacles don’t make them feel safer, and they want the city to spend money on other services. They said they had a baby daughter and there was a fragile bridge in a nearby park that was dangerous for strollers.

Morgan also said that poor people could face chain problems if people with disabilities get caught in obstacles without a driver’s license. They may have to miss a job to get a new license or revive an old license.

“It can throw your finances into a hurt world,” he said.

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