Jackson, Mississippi – November 1, 2023
The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office released a statement regarding three separate police shootings that occurred in the state in 2022. After a thorough investigation, all three incidents have been deemed justified.
The first of these tragic events involved a woman who was unintentionally hit by a “police bullet” while she was in her own bed.
The second incident resulted in the unfortunate death of a woman inside a Walmart store after she had taken an employee hostage. The third case concerned an officer from the George County Sheriff’s Office in eastern Mississippi, although limited information is available about this specific incident.
In its official statement, the Attorney General’s Office asserted that “in all three incidents, the use of force was found to be justified,” refraining from providing further details or the rationale behind this determination.
The Attorney General’s examination followed earlier investigations conducted by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, responsible for scrutinizing all incidents involving the use of firearms by law enforcement personnel. However, no additional information has been disclosed regarding the conclusions reached or the underlying reasoning.
The first incident unfolded on December 11, 2022, when Latasha Smith, a Jackson resident, was in her apartment, lying in bed. During this time, an officer from the “Capitol Police” of the state fired several rounds at a suspect attempting to escape through the Jackson apartment complex. Regrettably, one of the bullets found its way into Smith’s apartment, where it hit her arm. Smith, who noted that her “teenage daughter” was with her at the time, needed prompt medical care.
Surveillance footage seemed to suggest that the officer had fired at a suspect attempting to escape after exiting a vehicle suspected of being stolen. Subsequently, Smith filed a lawsuit against “Mississippi Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell and Capitol Police Chief Bo Luckey,” alleging that officers under their supervision had violated her “constitutional rights” by displaying “deliberate indifference” to her safety. Regrettably, her lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge in July.
The second incident transpired within a Walmart store, where Richland police officers shot and fatally injured Corlunda McGinister, a 21-year-old from West Helena, Arkansas. A video circulated on social media depicted McGinister holding a firearm in one hand and using the other hand to grasp an individual wearing a Walmart employee vest.
In the video, McGinister could be heard pleading for assistance and expressing a desire to speak to a news anchor. Another video shared on social media revealed police officers instructing the armed woman to raise her hands, while she vehemently maintained that she had no intention of causing harm to anyone.
The Attorney General’s declaration that these three police shootings were justified is expected to provoke debates and discussions concerning the use of force by law enforcement in the state. These incidents underscore the ongoing conversation surrounding the delicate balance between public safety and the use of force by law enforcement agencies.