Moss Point To Re-Establish Citizen Board

The NAACP has persuaded Moss Point officials to re-establish a citizens' advisory board. The Moss Point Citizen Advisory Board was formed by the mayor and board of aldermen after the death of a prisoner.

Marcus Malone died in 1999 in the city jail following a scuffle with officers during his arrest. Three officers who handled his arrest were charged with manslaughter. One was acquitted and charges were dropped against the others.

Aldermen disbanded the board in January against the wish of the local charter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The group had urged the city to form the board after fielding several reports of alleged police abuse.

An earlier attempt to persuaded Moss Point officials to overturn their decision failed, but the measure was tabled.

The Moss Point Board of Aldermen reversed its decision Tuesday in a 6-1 vote in favor of re-establishing the board.

Curley Clark, president of the Moss Point-Jackson County NAACP, said the organization is elated that the board honored the wishes of the citizens of Moss Point.

"We feel like it is a positive move that is going to continue to have Moss Point moving in a positive direction as far as having more citizen input and ensuring that every citizen has a voice as far as their concerns about the operations of the city of Moss Point,'' Clark said.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)