A Jackson neighborhood group is seeking to stop high speed police chases across city lines that left an innocent man dead. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
Members of the Capitol Neighbor's Association are upset over the death of 34-year old Lonnie Blue, a Nissan employee and father. Last Monday night, Clinton Police chased three accused shoplifters across the Jackson City line. The suspects slammed into Blue's vehicle, killing him at the scene. C. Liegh McInnis says property crimes such as shopliftingare not worth putting lives at risk.
"We want effective policies, but at what point do we as advanced humans come to the notion that a computer or any physical object is worth more than life," said McInnis.
Mississippi law allows officers to cross jurisdictions during police chases. But president of the association, Cassandra Welchlin, says deadly crashes like this have occurred before. They plan to encourage lawmakers to introduce a bill to change the law.
"We wanted to put the pressure on as the public to demand something different and to really call for a change to the policies and the practices of police chases in our communities," said Welchlin.
Clinton's Interim Police Chief reportedly said they notified Jackson Police Department and received their help in the chase. But Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance says that's not true. He says dash cam video from Clinton shows a JPD officer going in the opposite direction of the chase.
"We know for a fact that our officer saw the chase. He had our dispatcher call the Clinton Police Eepartment to find out what was going on," said
In a statement Clinton's Interim Police Chief Mike Gill said "This is a tragedy. Our hearts and prayers are with the Blue family." The statement went on to say he will continue to work with Jackson Police to make the Metro area safer.
Video of pursuit, courtesy of Clinton Police Department: https://www.youtube.com/embed/fx32a-wjBh8