Former Hinds Sheriff Lewis speaks against statements made by Cou - - Jackson, MS

Former Hinds Sheriff Lewis speaks against statements made by Councilman Stokes

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

At a press conference Sunday at 2 p.m. Jackson City Councilman Kenneth Stokes said "Race is a factor for blatant disregard for public safety of innocent children/elderly citizens in unlawful chases."

Stokes made reference to a chase, in which former Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis' uncle was killed.

Stokes made several references to chases being for misdemeanor offenses versus for criminals wanted for murder or kidnapping.

Sunday afternoon Sheriff Lewis contacted our newsroom to set the record straight regarding a chase his family was involved in.

Lewis said, "I'm very disappointed he (Stokes) would use my family in this. This is opening up old wounds. My family has nothing to do with his statements. We want nothing to do with it."

Lewis added, "In 1997 on Bailey Ave. and Maple St. there was a chase with Jackson police leading the chase, in Jackson. My mother was involved in the accident and my female cousin was killed." 

"He (Stokes) has a problem with outside jurisdictions chasing into the City of Jackson. He's trying to mislead the public," Lewis added.

"I resent the entire statement. The officers that ran into my family were not white and it was Jackson officers," Lewis said.

Lewis added, " I do not support what he is saying or doing. It's a slap in the face for law enforcement. I believe there are state statutes that allow certain jurisdictions into other cities for certain reasons and when I was sheriff we had a good relationship with other jurisdictions."

"They would inform us before coming into Hinds County and they would ask for assistance from Hinds County and we would give them the assistance," Lewis explained.

Stokes' typed response read, " The United States Department of Justice is being asked to investigate the ever-increasing incidence of unlawful chases through the streets of Jackson, MS by outside jurisdictions putting the citizens of Jackson in harm's way, despite repeated attempts being made to end the unlawful practice."

Councilman Stokes' typed response went on to say, "Councilman Kenneth I. Stokes called a press conference to address recent reactions to a recent occurrence involving several outside police jurisdictions chasing a suspect through a Jackson neighborhood putting children and families in harm's way.

"The City of Jackson is overwhelmingly majority African American. Jurisdictions surrounding the City of Jackson are overwhelmingly white. Is race a factor? The children and citizens of the City of Jackson are already burdened by living under the ever-present terror of the confederate flag being flown all over the capital city on every state building. Dangerous car chases throughout Jackson neighborhoods by outside jurisdictions are adding insult to injury. This must stop! The City Council must take steps to address this recurring problem. The United States Department of Justice is being asked to investigate. Outside jurisdictions chasing suspects through Jackson neighborhoods must not be allowed. Public safety demands an end to these unlawful chase," said Councilman Kenneth I. Stokes.

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