Jackson mayor compares Capitol Complex expansion bill to apartheid, cites lack of accountability for residents

JACKSON, Mississippi (WLBT) — Jackson’s mayor said state lawmakers are attempting to control a large portion of Mississippi’s largest city without holding those who live here accountable by creating a court system with nominated — not elected — Judges create and set up the Capitol Police the power to patrol there.

“You are talking about a court system where judges are not elected by Jackson residents, but are appointed by the Supreme Court, a police force that is not accountable to Jackson residents,” Mayor Chowke Antar Lumumba said. “When we see these challenges happening not just from Ferguson, but across the country, where people are tasked with policing people but are not accountable to them, it reminds me of apartheid.”

The new court system and expansion of the Capitol Complex Improvement District will only happen if House Bill 1020 is passed.

It would expand the CCID from 8.6 square miles to more than 26, running from the border of Highway 80 to County Line Road, but encompassing only a small portion of West Jackson.

South Jackson is not included at all.

Proponents say the expansion would allow Jackson police to focus on high-crime areas outside of the district, allowing Capitol Police to patrol smaller crimes within the district.

Historically, property crime has far outpaced violent crime in the northeastern part of the city, which would be included in the proposed expansion.

“It reminds me of a colonial power where they dictate who our leadership is, they put military power above us and we are only supposed to pay taxes to the king. That’s all we’re supposed to do is pay taxes to the king,” Lumumba said.

The legislature also has its own ideas about how this state district should function.

During an interview on SuperTalk, host Gerard Gilbert pressed State Assemblyman Nick Bain (R-Corinth) on how JPD would work with the Capitol Police since the two have concurrent jurisdiction.

“Is there any overlap with JPD? If that puts you within the city limits?” Gilbert said.

“The Capitol Police will have totally exclusive jurisdiction and they will have their own jurisdiction,” Bain said.

Gilbert asks Bain if the legislature has the authority to do this, and Bain reminds him that the county itself already exists.

You just expand it.

“So you can invade a city? We’ll handle your prosecution?” Gilbert said.

“Jackson basically agrees,” Bain said.

Lumumba vehemently denied that claim when asked Monday about Bain’s comments.

“He lied to the people on SuperTalk. The city didn’t approve, he never met with me to see how I felt about it. And that not only poses an issue in terms of not meeting with me as mayor, but I’ve heard lawmakers after lawmakers talk about all these bills that were introduced by people who don’t live in Jackson, and at the same time time , don’t communicate with the people who do,” Lumumba said.

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