Mississippi Councilman Kenneth Stokes is fed up with police chasing after small-time crooks and has asked residents in Jackson, Mississippi, to throw things at officers in pursuit.
“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,” Stokes told WLBT-3 News on Thursday.
According to CNN, Gov. Phil Bryant and a county sheriff are threatening to have prosecutors investigate Stokes over the suggestion.
“Let’s get rocks; let’s get bricks, and let’s get bottles,” Stokes told WJTV. “And we’ll start throwing them, and then they won’t come in here anymore.”
Councilman Kenneth Stokes is notorious for speaking his mind and stirring controversy and has repeated the suggestion to several other local news outlets.
In 2014, when Stokes was the Hinds County Supervisor, he claimed at a public meeting that he believed former Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba “was murdered” – despite the fact that the county coroner concluded the ailing mayor had died of natural causes, reports NBC News.
“My position is this: 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,” Stokes told Jackson’s the Clarion-Ledger newspaper on Friday.
“Now I have supported police officers in police departments all over this state from when I was a (Hinds County) supervisor when we voted for new cars and equipment for police officers. I opened and closed the last council meeting in honor of an officer who had died. I have named streets after officers in this city,” Stokes continued.
Several people have fired back at Stokes’ remarks via social media including law enforcement officers, the governor, and the attorney general.
According to a recent Facebook post, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department – located approximately 140 miles from Jackson – is refusing to do business with any business located within the city limits of Jackson until Stokes is no longer on the city council.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood posted a comment via Twitter on Saturday saying that “Actions that put law enforcement officers in harm’s way cannot be tolerated.”
Comments that put law enforcement in harm's way cannot be tolerated. Frustration w/policies must never jeopardize officer safety.— Jim Hood (@AGJimHood) January 2, 2016
Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker also took to social media to voice his anger over Stokes’ suggestion.
“Law enforcement will not be intimidated by you. 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,” the post read.
Gov. Phil Bryant joined Tucker with a similar statement on Facebook.
“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,” Bryant wrote.
In addition to Mississippi state officials, Twitter users from across the nation were also outraged by Stokes’ comments. Some have called Stokes “unfit to serve,” and suggested that rocks and bottles should be thrown at him instead.
They should be throwing rocks, throwing bottles, and throwing bricks at you #KennethStokes— Dallas Krum (@_there_he_go_) January 2, 2016
“He is not fit to serve on the Jackson, Mississippi City Council,” Twitter user Cameron Gray posted on Saturday.
“If you want Kenneth Stokes to resign, use the hashtag #StokesMustGo,” wrote another.
According to NBC News, Stokes has yet to provide additional comments regarding his statement.
[Photo by Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo]