The rise in officer-involved shootings under Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba, now at nine, and the lack of transparency thereafter posed an issue for the self-proclaimed most radical mayor in America.
Jackson Police Department officers killed two people in the first two months of 2018 alone, with three officer-involved shooting deaths total this year. There are various circumstances around each of these shootings, but all officer-involved shootings in the history of Jackson share a common thread: The City has never publicly identified any of the officers who pulled the trigger have at any point during the process.
So, for the last five months, the mayor's officer-involved shooting task force has been meeting to find a solution. The mayor appointed the group to draft policy recommendations about when to release officers' names following officer-involved shootings. On Sept. 6, the members reached a consensus, and their findings should be on the mayor's desk later today.
The Jackson Free Press did not receive a finalized copy of the task force's recommendations by press time, but based on the Sept. 6 meeting the most standout recommendations are:
● Within 72 hours of an officer-involved shooting, JPD will release the names of any officers who discharged a firearm, absent exigent circumstances, such as a credible threat to the individual officer.
● Exigent circumstances include whether an officer was undercover at the time of the shooting.
● A three-member board comprised of a community member and two municipal court judges will determine if there is a credible threat to the officer.
● Within 72 hours, JPD will release video that provides a general overview of what occurred, if any such video has been identified, with the caveat that the immediate family must be informed and allowed to view the video first. Video would not be released if it compromises an ongoing investigation.
These recommendations are