A Mississippi city councilman is under fire for calling for residents to throw things at police from neighboring jurisdictions entering neighborhoods in his district.
Jackson City Councilman Kenneth Stokes
told multiple news outlets recently that he is tired of police from neighboring areas chasing low-level suspects into Jackson and putting children in danger.
"Let's get rocks; let's get bricks, and let's get bottles," he told local station WJTV. "And we'll start throwing them, and then they won't come in here anymore."
He repeated the warning in an interview with The Clarion-Ledger newspaper
"When you have these police officers coming from other jurisdictions and they will not respect human life, then I said we should use rocks, bricks or bottles to try to get the message over: stop endangering our children," he said.
In addition to social media outrage, public officials also have taken Stokes on.
"Law Enforcement will not be intimidated by you," Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker posted on Facebook. "Any Madison county law enforcement that is attacked because of your ignorant statements, I will hold you responsible. I fully intend to contact the (Mississippi) Attorney General and inquire if your statements constitute assaults on officers by threat."
Gov. Phil Bryant called Stokes' remarks "reprehensible."
"This is nothing short of an outright assault upon all who wear the badge," Bryant wrote on Facebook. "I will be asking Attorney General Jim Hood to investigate whether Mr. Stokes' remarks represent criminal threats against law enforcement officers."
Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber agreed with Stokes that there are problems with neighboring officers respecting jurisdictional boundaries, but said on Twitter he can't condone the councilman's words.
Stokes said he isn't angry about pursuits of dangerous criminals, but added that police routinely chase people accused of misdemeanors through Jackson neighborhoods. He suggested they break off such pursuits after they get a license plate number.
A recent pursuit was of someone accused of shoplifting from a Wal-Mart.
"We'll pay for whatever they stole to make sure that our babies are not harmed," Stokes said. "We want the same respect that they give to their neighborhoods, given to Jackson neighborhoods."
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