Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba, in an executive order today, prohibits the Jackson Police Department from using choke-holds, knee-on-neck or any other tactic that restricts breathing in an amendment of its use-of-force policy.
In the order, the mayor acknowledged that Jackson has faced a number of use-of-force problems since he has been mayor, saying “the City of Jackson has experienced deaths and other harms through the use of excessive and/or deadly force by police officers” and, thus, “an immediate need to examine and amend the City of Jackson’s use of force policies and procedures.”
As recently as May 22, JPD Officer Myron Smith was captured on video appearing to choke a young black man, bending him over the hood of a car and repeating, “Make me! Make me!” The officer was placed on administrative lead pending an investigation.
Then, on June 9, in the wake of a massive protect in Jackson against police brutality, attorney Dennis Sweet III appeared with five families who have either lost family members to JPD violence or been abused to raise awareness about over-policing in the capital city.
The new executive order says that officers will “de-escalate situations, where possible, by communicating with subjects, maintaining distance, and otherwise eliminating the need to use force.”
Read the full executive order here.