Tupelo's mayor announces a plan to rebuild trust between police and residents after a white officer is not being charged with the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.
Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton says he's creating working groups to improve relations between police and residents in response to the June 18th, fatal shooting of Antwun Shumpert. Police Officer Tyler Cook who is white, killed Shumpert who was black, after the 37-year old ran during a traffic stop and hid under a house. Questions swirl around exactly what happened. Rev. James Hull with the Coalition of Concerned Pastors and Leaders.
"Just the whole discrepancy about Mr. Shumpert being on top of Officer Cook. When Shumpert was shot, his teeth were kicked-in," said Hull.
Last week a grand jury declined to indict Officer Cook, which has deepened mistrust of officials according to Hull. The minister says he's hopeful trust can be rebuilt after attending a public forum yesterday. Using input from Hull's group and others, Tupelo's Mayor Jason Shelton is creating six working groups to address issues that were raised. Mayor Shelton.
"Looking at the possibility of a police advisory board, we're going to review our city's hiring and training policies, we're going to develop grass roots engagement through our neighborhood coordinator who is an employee of the city. We're going to engage faith-based community groups to implement programs," said Shelton.
Shelton says city council members, residents and police will participate in the groups and they're looking at hiring a community outreach coordinator. Rev. James Hull.
"I really think that the community orienting policing piece that he wants to roll out can be very, very helpful," said Hull.
Working groups will begin meeting next week and provide recommendations to the Tupelo City Council November 1st.