Mayor Promises Change After Second Moss Point Jail Death This Year - - The News for South Mississippi

Mayor Promises Change After Second Moss Point Jail Death This Year

The Mayor of Moss Point is pledging that changes will be made at the city's police department and jail. Mayor Xavier Bishop told WLOX News on Monday that two inmate deaths this year are two too many.

Sunday, Billy Ray Evans was found unconscious in his cell just a few hours after being arrested on domestic abuse charges. He died a short time later.

Mayor Bishop said he was devastated when received the call on Sunday.

"I am bothered by it because it's has happened two previous times. I am bothered because it was something that happen recently. I am bothered because represents a lost of life," Mayor Bishop said.

In March, Jesse Lee Hubbard also died in a Moss Point Jail cell. Jackson County Coroner Vicki Broadus said both men hanged themselves. The mayor now says something has to change.

"Whether it is a result of bad luck, or bad management, it's something we have to do, and we are going to have to take extraordinary measures."

Bishop says the police department plans to monitor each cell more frequently. In the past, he says, the department has not had a 24 hour surveillance on each cell.

"I see the end result as a problem that needs to be addressed, and that is what we are going to do. Obviously, there is some limitation on what we can and can't do, and one is you can not have cameras focused in a jail cell at every given moment."

Bishop also plans work with other police departments on suicide prevention within the Moss Point Jail.

"We are going to look at this from a multitude of perspectives. We are going to consult with any and everyone who can shed light on the circumstances to ensure it does not happen again."

This is the second tragedy for the Evans family this month. Mayor Bishop confirmed that Billy Ray's son died earlier this month after being arrested by police in Prichard, Alabama. Authorities there are awaiting medical tests to determine what happened, but say police acted properly in the case.

As for the family of Jessie Lee Hubbard, they aren't satisfied with the suicide ruling in his death and are working with an attorney and the NAACP to get more information.

by Patrice Clark

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