JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Ward 3 Councilor Kenneth Stokes brought together residents and city leaders on Tuesday evening to discuss solutions to crime.
As the number of homicides in the city continues to rise, it was evident at Tuesday’s hearing that residents are ready to tackle the root causes of crime.
Jackson Police Chief James Davis began Tuesday’s public hearing with a sense of disappointment after a tense crime scene on Locksley Drive on Monday night led to gunfire as officers investigated a double homicide.
The shots forced our teams to leave the scene.
“In the midst of you having two people die in the street, we had to crowd control because they were so connected with their argument,” Davis said. “We’re trying to work the crime scene and control the crowd.”
Residents then spoke directly to the chief and precinct commanders, sharing their concerns and offering suggestions on how to reduce violence in their town.
Some of these concerns related to gun shows in the city. This is something Councilor Stokes and Chief Davis have openly opposed in the past.
“On Sunday, I got to witness something happen at one of those gun shows. This young guy was in there saying, ‘Yeah, that’s the gun I want. I was looking for this kind of gun. If someone laughs at me, I will shoot them. And they sold him the gun,” said a resident.
Some suggestions from residents included creating organizations and events to give the city’s youth more structure in their lives.
“I really wish there was more focus on jobs,” said another resident. “We need to put more money in the pockets of these teenagers because a lot of this crime is clearly desperation.”
County leaders like District 2 Supervisor David Archie also took to the podium on Tuesday, apologizing for not taking a more active approach to tackling crime and promising to do so in the future.
“Our — including me — elected officials aren’t doing enough,” Archie said. “We’re not on the front lines enough to fight hard-core crime in the city of Jackson.”
We were unable to contact Chief Davis to find out if anyone was injured or harmed by Monday night’s gunfire near Locksley Drive, but he acknowledged that overcrowding at crime scenes makes it difficult for investigators to do their job.
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