JPD Chief commends officers for disarming man with rifle

JPD Chief commends officers for disarming man with rifle

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson Police Chief James Davis is commending the officers that responded to a shooting last week at Willow Point Apartments.

While on the scene, officers were approached by a man armed with a rifle.

Police lifted their weapons but took the man into custody without firing a shot.

“It goes back to the training we constantly do. In a split second, those officers could have (done) what was justified,” Davis told the council. “I want to commend the officers for restraining themselves and saving a life.”

Ward Three Councilman Kenneth Stokes said the man “would have been gone” if he approached officers in other jurisdictions.

“I can understand restraint, don’t get me wrong, with our officers. But the message (has) got to get out there you can’t have these street sweepers around these police officers, and then something happens, and you accidentally shoot or kill a police officer,” he said

“I’m not saying they were wrong, but in some jurisdictions, that young man would have been gone.”

Davis said the incident, which occurred on December 2, is another reason JPD needs additional Tasers.

The Tasers are designed to temporarily debilitate individuals by shocking them with electrical currents.

“We can tase an individual and that individual can live another day,” the chief said. “It would help our officers to make a split decision to save a life, instead of taking a life.”

The devices are said to be non-lethal. However, a 2021 report in USA Today shows that more than 500 people have died after being shot by police with stun guns.

Stokes asked if the individual, in that case, was arrested.

“I think he was mentally challenged, and they gave him some help,” Davis said.

WLBT has reached out to the chief for more details and is waiting to hear back.

Davis told the council the incident also highlights the larger gun problem in the city.

“Those are some of the calls we receive every single day. There are a lot of guns in the city of Jackson. Everybody wants assault rifles,” he said. “We face that each and every day dealing with guns on the streets.”

The council approved spending up to $1,166,774.28 over the next five years to purchase Tasers from Axon Enterprise.

The contract includes a master service and purchasing agreement, as well as a data management system to download data from the Tasers.

“These are the types of Tasers, (that) once they’re deployed, (have) a memory. Once you put it on the charger, it documents what took place,” Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said. “That helps us... there are checks and balances to give the community assurance that use of force will be documented and in accord with the law.”

Anthony Warren