The “throw rocks at cops” lawmaker, Jackson, Mississippi, city councilor Kenneth Stokes, may be subject to a criminal investigation called for by the state’s governor.
Stokes, who represents Ward 3 in that municipality, created a huge controversy when he proposed on Thursday that his constituents engage in civil disobedience when police in hot pursuit of misdemeanor suspects entered the city and allegedly put children in danger.
“City officials have long complained about neighboring police departments crossing into Jackson in high-speed chases to pursue petty criminals,” The Root explained.
His recommendation: Throw rocks, bricks, and bottles at cops to send a message that “we don’t want you in here.”
Stokes prompted outrage among law enforcement officials in neighboring cities and counties, including but not limited to the Calhoun and Madison County Sheriff’s Departments, who made their feelings known on social media networks.
The Richland, MS, Police Chef also weighed in that “I have every faith that the law abiding and peaceful people living in our communities will not rise up in riot, or bring violence against the men and women who are risking so much to protect them…”
Lee County Sheriff Jim H. Johnson contacted the FBI and “encouraged them to investigate any federal law that may have been broken” by the councilman.
As alluded to above, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant also condemned Stokes’ remarks, deeming them “reprehensible, particularly with the attacks we have seen against our men and women in law enforcement…This is nothing short of an outright assault upon all who wear the badge.” Bryant is referring the matter to Attorney General Jim Hood for a potential probe into whether Stokes’s comments amount to criminal threats against cops.
Many are asking whether Jackson Councilman Kenneth Stokes went too far with his latest comments. More @ 10.-Maggie pic.twitter.com/QRoSvy8ZK8
— WLBT 3 On Your Side (@WLBT) January 1, 2016
AG Hood released a statement yesterday, suggesting that he would likely conduct an investigation and that “Comments that put law enforcement in harm’s way cannot be tolerated. Frustration or dissatisfaction with police polices or procedures does not give any person, especially an elected official, the right to jeopardize the safety of others…”
— Malary Pullen (@MPullen_WJTV) January 2, 2016
According to CBS News affiliate Channel 12, WJTV in Jackson, the councilman has a reputation for outspokenness. “Stokes is known for his bold and often controversial statements, but this one has created major fallout. Some say his suggestion for fixing the problem of high speed chasing through Jackson has them appalled.”
Stokes’ colleagues on the city council in a statement yesterday also condemned what Stokes had to say about rock throwing, adding that his remarks don’t represent the views of the other council members.
In a Twitter message, Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber also explained that cops need to respect the boundaries of nearby cities and counties, but that violence against police officers is unacceptable.
While there is a need to demand respect of jurisdictional boundaries, I could never condone violence against officers.
— Tony Yarber (@TonyYarber) January 1, 2016
“It is dangerous to throw rocks at cars–people have been maimed or killed by such acts. It is incredibly irresponsible (and possibly criminal) for an elected official to use this kind of rhetoric, and it is right that Stokes is being investigated,” Townhall opined.
“The City Council must take steps to address this recurring problem. Outside jurisdictions chasing suspects around Jackson neighborhoods must not be allowed,” Stokes has insisted.
As far as whether an investigation would go anywhere, District Attorney Michael Guest of nearby Ranking/Madison County asserted that “I believe definitely he could be held civilly liable, and be penalized monetarily. There may be criminal statutes that the attorney general’s office or the Hinds County DA’s office could look at bringing against Mr. Stokes,” WDAM, Channel 7, reported.
— Ken Lang (@DetKenLang) January 3, 2016
As The Inquisitr previously noted, Councilman Kenneth Stokes does not make it clear as to how citizens in Jackson would able to determine if a person being chased by law enforcement is a suspect in a misdemeanor or a felony crime before they theoretically start throwing rocks at cops.
[Image via YouTube]