MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - The family of a Moss Point suspect is calling for justice after he was fatally shot by police Thursday night.
Carlos Moore, an attorney and municipal court judge in Clarksdale, traveled to Moss Point after learning his relative, Toussaint Diamon Sims, was fatally shot. Moore is now planning to hold a press conference Sunday evening to make demands of the city and police department.
“I received a message on Friday morning. Someone reached out to me from Moss Point. It was an eyewitness, so I spoke to her as soon as I woke up Friday morning around 7 a.m., and she told me she had witnessed the entire shooting, from the time the young man jumped out of the black vehicle and started running,” Moore said. “She saw him running, about to jump a fence and saw him shot in the back multiple times by the white cop. She said the young man had nothing in his hands, nothing that could be misconstrued as a weapon. Nothing was in his hands. He was running full speed from the cops, away from the cops.”
Moore said he has not spoken with anyone with the Moss Point Police Department, nor has he been able to reach anyone at the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, the lead agency on this investigation.
“The only person I have spoken with is the mayor of Moss Point,” Moore said. “He is simply trying to gather information. He has not come to any conclusions one way or the other. He did tell me that the cops are given body cameras, but he has not confirmed to me whether the body camera was on or off on that particular day.”
Moore said based on what witnesses have told him, he does not believe that the suspect was armed at the time of his death.
“We’re going to talk about the multiple witnessed I have spoken to that either witnessed the actual shooting or the immediate aftermath where the individual was laying on the ground. Even before the cops got to him they didn’t see a gun. They watched the whole thing unfold in front of them, and when the cops got there they put him in handcuffs and turned him, and they watched the whole thing. The cops never picked up a gun. There was no gun in the vicinity of the man, and they watched the whole aftermath, so I have the eyewitness that saw the actual shooting and saw everything from the time he got out of the vehicle. Then I have the people who heard the gunshot and looked out the window and saw the whole aftermath of him on the ground dead and when the cops got there. They watched the whole thing, and there is no gun that the man had in his possession or in his vicinity.
“And so we know that is a made up tale of the cops trying to protect themselves, and that’s why I’ve driven 100-something miles to be here to take this case because we have eyewitnesses. A lot of times you the cops’ words against nobody because there are no witnesses, but this was in broad daylight. People clearly saw what they saw, and they have come forward. One of the witnesses will speak with the media tomorrow during the press conference and tell what she saw, and I’m going to ask that the officer be immediately terminated based on the witness’s testimony.
“Alternatively, I’m going to ask that the city produce any body camera footage. If they have such that they can rely on to dispute the eyewitness testimony. Otherwise, the word of the witnesses should be believed and that man, the white cop that committed cold-blooded murder.”
On Friday, the Moss Point Police Department said the officer involved in the fatal shooting was placed on administrative leave.
“The long-term plan is to gather all of the evidence, and I want to see video evidence. That’s always the best. The next best thing is eyewitness testimony. We have a very solid case against the city. We are going to ask that the officer be immediately terminated and that he be criminally prosecuted. The witness is prepared to sign a criminal affidavit on Monday against the officer. We have the officer’s name who did this. We will release his name to the media tomorrow, and the witness is prepared to sign a criminal affidavit against the officer for what she witnessed and what we believe to be first-degree murder.”
Moore has been involved in five cases surround police-involved shootings, but this case is different in that he has a personal connection to the victim.
"This is my first cousin’s son. I didn’t know him well, but I’ve known her since we grew up, and she did not deserve to be grieving the loss of her son because of something someone did who was sworn to protect and serve.
"I was shocked. I was very much shocked. One lady from Moss Point reached out to me. She had no idea that the individual was my cousin. She told me, ‘I know you are a civil rights attorney, and there has been a shooting in Moss Point, and he was shot five times in the back. I believe you need to get down here and investigate it before they try to cover their tracks.’ Before I could finish reading her message, my aunt sent me the video saying it was my cousin that had been shot. It was all hitting me at the same time, so I definitely was shocked. I told the lady I just learned the victim was my cousin, so you don’t have to wonder if I will be involved, and we will seek justice.
“I have a strong faith in God, and if you can’t be there for your family when they are down, who can you be there for? And I believe the Lord has prepared me for this day, and we are going to rely on our faith and the Lord will get us through this.
"I’m sitting with the mother of the victim now, my first cousin, and they are getting through it day by day by the help of the good Lord. She’s still in shock and can’t believe it happened in broad daylight, and for Moss Point police to put out a statement that he was armed, and she’s talked to several people that told her he was not armed.
"She was there until midnight. He was shot at around seven, and she was there until midnight but was not able to get close to her son, still has not been able to ID her son. She’s been treated worse than a red-headed stepchild. This is her son, her baby that she gave life and breath to. The coroner told her she didn’t need to identify her son. Other folks identified her son for the coroner, and the body has already been sent to Jackson for autopsy. That is not how you do things. This is her son. She should have been there. They have never allowed her to be close to the body, so she’s been done wrong by various members of law enforcement and the coroner’s office.
"We just want full transparency by the city officials in Moss Point. We want a full investigation done. I contacted MBI on Friday, the same day I spoke with the eyewitness. I tried to contact them. I never got a call. I called my friend who works with the FBI. No one called me yesterday. I pursued it today.
“This will not be swept under the rug. The truth will come out. They don’t want to release the name of the officer. I will release it. I have done an investigation. I have the name of the officer that did this, and we will release it. The public deserves to know. These people are paid with taxpayer dollars. My parents, my cousin, they are paying taxes in this city, and they deserve to know the truth, and we are going to give them the truth, and I have no reason to believe anyone who has contacted me has lied to me.”
"That man committed cold-blooded murder, and I’m convinced of it based on witness testimony, and we’re going to see justice is served completely. We’re not going to rest until that man is arrested for murder, for homicide. We’re not going to rest until he’s terminated. I don’t believe you kill someone and get a paid vacation. Right now he’s on administrative leave with pay. That’s a reward for killing someone. He needs to be off the city payroll before I leave town Monday afternoon.
“If you have some proof that the witnesses I spoke to are lying, then produce it. Otherwise he needs to come off that force.”
With the wording Moore used throughout his interview, WLOX News Now asked if he might be prematurely convicting the officer involved.
“No I have not. I didn’t make a determination until after I spoke to eyewitness. I don’t go by hearsay. This is an eyewitness who reached out to me and gave me information that she saw the actual shooting," Moore said. "Besides an attorney, I am a judge in Clarksdale. I sit on the bench every week. I decide on information based on evidence, and a lot of time it’s not video or audio. It is based on eyewitness testimony, and I made a judicial termination of the facts of who I believe is telling the truth. So in this instance, I am acting as an attorney, but I’m dong the same process. I have heard an eyewitness account of what happened. and I have not seen anything to dispute it, and based on that I believe, this boy was murdered.”
WLOX News Now reached out to Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley for a statement in regards to Moore’s comments.
“He is putting the officer’s life in danger by not allowing the process to run its course,” Ashley said. “He has not made an attempted to speak with me, and with his assumptions and misinformation, it will do nothing but cause strife in an already tense situation.”
Moore said his press conference will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Moss Point Riverfront Community Center.