Victims of violent crimes speak to city leaders - - Jackson, MS

Victims of violent crimes speak to city leaders

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Those who live with the untimely deaths of loved ones are seeking answers and hoping the unsolved crimes will be solved.

The hope is that word of mouth will lead to convictions.

Sunday afternoon Victims of Violent Crimes held a forum at Jackson City Hall. Relatives of victims who died violently shared their heartbreaking stories during a town hall meeting.

 Mildred Sandifer was one of more than 30 people to attend the organizations most recent session. "I lost a child also," said the Jackson mother of two remaining daughters. Her daughter Tawanna Sandifer was a runaway who was killed in 2004.

 "My daughter was the one that was found in the park at Presidential Hills," Sandifer shared with the audience. Her teenage daughter's killer was taken into custody and sentenced, but others here are awaiting convictions and even arrests.

 Robert McCoy, 52, was shot in July of last year while remodeling a house. Tyshun Robinson, 17, was charged with McCoy's murder.

"To be on the job and be taken out the way he was taken out...The guy that was arrested is walking around right now," said family member Henry Hankins.

Bernice Barnes said the case involving her son, 26-year-old Rajah Barnes, is growing cold.

"I guess you say after five years what is it to do, but it just hurts. That was my child. In my heart I feel that it would give me a peace just to know who and why," added Barnes.

By opening up and speaking out organizers hope families are offered some solace.

Attendees also posed questions to Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, Police Chief Lindsey Horton and Ward 5 Councilman Charles Tillman.

"What type of training are you providing making sure that the city the detectives have to make sure that these crimes are getting solved?" asked Danielle Holmes.

 City leaders say investigators undergo the most up to date training and instruction and work long hours and even years to solve cases.

 "With more community involvement I think that you have more of a possibility of arising dead cases and making them alive again," said Mayor Lumumba.

 "We are better than what we are seeing when it comes to violent crimes. We are a people city and the people must look out for the common interests," said Councilman Tillman.

 On November 15th Victims of Violent Crimes will host Recognition Night at the Jackson Medical Mall.

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