Jackson, MS -- (RT) Kenneth Stokes, a councilman in Jackson, came under fire after he suggested using force against police officers from other jurisdictions who come into Jackson chasing petty criminals, claiming this is dangerous for children in neighborhood streets.
"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 in here," he told WLBT News.
Stokes’ comments came after a high-speed chase in pursuit of a thief on Christmas Eve.
“These kind of chases put children in danger. They said parents were trying to get their children out of harm’s way,” he said.
“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.”
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Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant called Stokes’ comments relating to police officers "reprehensible” and says he will ask the Attorney General to investigate the remarks.
The Attorney General, Jim Hood, has since issued a statement saying that “comments or actions that put out law enforcement officers in harm’s way cannot be tolerated."
Stoke’s comments have sparked an outcry online, resulting in the #kennethstokes hashtag and calls for him to be prosecuted.
Stokes also suggested taking court action against outside police agencies that come into Jackson chasing misdemeanor offenders.
City officials have raised concerns about high-speed chases involving officers from nearby jurisdictions.
Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber said officers should respect county boundaries, but added he does not condone violence against cops.