Kenneth Stokes, a city councilman in Jackson, Mississippi, has taken it upon himself to tell the people in his jurisdiction to commit violence against police officers. Stokes is telling the people of Jackson that if they see police officers from another jurisdiction coming into Jackson due to car chases in an attempt to apprehend a misdemeanor suspect, then the people of Jackson should throw bottles, bricks, and rocks at these police officers.
“What I suggest is we get the black leadership together and as these jurisdictions come into Jackson, we throw rocks and bricks and bottles at them. That will send a message we don’t want you here.”
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant says that the words from Councilman Kenneth Stokes are “reprehensible.”
“Mr. Stokes’ remarks are reprehensible, particularly with the attacks we have seen against our men and women in law enforcement. I condemn any such remarks in the strongest possible manner. This is nothing short of an outright assault upon all who wear the badge. I will be asking Attorney General Jim Hood to investigate whether Mr. Stokes’ remarks represent criminal threats against law enforcement officers.”
People on social media sites are being very vocal about the words being spoken by Stokes. Many people are contesting that what Stokes is trying to do is to incite a riot. Some people are saying that what Stokes is saying should be considered a hate crime and that he be removed from office. A hashtag on Twitter, #StokesMustGo, is being used for people to express their feelings on the Mississippi councilman.
Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker was quick to respond to what Councilman Stokes is suggesting.
“Any Madison County law enforcement that is attacked because your ignorant statements, I will hold you responsible. I fully intend to contact the MS (Mississippi) Attorney General and inquire if your statements constitute assaults on officers by threat.”
Councilman Stokes also has the mayor of Jackson distancing himself from Stokes’ comments. Mayor Tony Yarber agrees that jurisdiction boundary lines need to be respected, but he in no way thinks that violence against police officers is the way to solve the problem.
Councilman Stokes states that the safety of the children of Jackson is the reason he made these polarizing statements. He states that when a suspect is involved in a car chase by law enforcement from outside of Jackson, the lives of the children on the streets are at risk of being injured or killed. Stokes states that the lives of the children in Jackson should not be put at risk during a car chase where the suspect has committed a misdemeanor.
“These kind of chases put children in danger. They said parents were trying to get their children out of harms way. Now, it is our position that if it is a misdemeanor, you shouldn’t be putting children and the elderly in danger. Now, if you are talking about a murderer or a bank robbery, then this is person who may be a little more dangerous to the community, but not a misdemeanor. We have had this discussion over and over again, but it looks like these jurisdictions have taken the position they don’t care. And that is the wrong position to take. What are you going to do — wait until someone is killed?”
Mississippi, city councilman tells residents to throw rocks at police in pursuit. Kenneth Stokes should be fired pic.twitter.com/nh8KyxjRHS
— iphoneart101 (@iphoneart101) January 2, 2016
The councilman does not make it clear as to how citizens should know if the person being chased by law enforcement is a suspect in a misdemeanor or a felony crime.
Do you think that Councilman Kenneth Stokes is suggesting the right way to solve the jurisdiction problem? Should Councilman Stokes be removed from office due to his recent statements?
[Image Via AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis]