Officials throughout Jackson County release statements on fatal officer-involved shooting

Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley
Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley(City of Moss Point)
Updated: Aug. 11, 2019 at 3:16 PM CDT
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MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley promises to be transparent and as timely as the investigation into a deadly officer-involved shooting allows.

(Photo source: WLOX)
(Photo source: WLOX)

Ashley released the following statement Sunday morning:

We will be transparent and as timely as the investigation allows. We are releasing information as a coordinated effort with MBI. We may release more in the future, but I have already released a synopsis of the events that led to the shooting. For example, the autopsy has not been done. I would never speak on that without a report from medical examiner.

The shooting happened on Aug. 8 in the area of 2nd Street and Martin Luther King Jr., Boulevard.

According to a press release from the Moss Point Police Department, Toussaint Diamon Sims, 27, was fatally shot after leading officers on a foot pursuit. The release said Sims displayed a firearm in a threatening manner during the pursuit, which caused the pursing officer to discharge his firearm killing Sims.

(Photo source: Moss Point Police Department)
(Photo source: Moss Point Police Department)

Ashley previously said the officer involved, whose identity is behind withheld until the case is presented to the grand jury, has been placed on leave.

The family of Sims is speaking out and demanding justice for him.

Carlos Moore, an attorney and municipal court judge in Clarksdale, is planning to hold a press conference Sunday evening to make demands of the city and police department. Moore said based on what witnesses have told him, he does not believe that the suspect was armed at the time of his death.

Moore has asked for transparency from officials and evidence to come forward in regards to this incident. He claimed the suspect’s mother was not able to positively identify the body or see the body since the shooting.

The Jackson County Coroner’s Office released the following statement Sunday:

“Positive ID was made by law enforcement. In forensic cases such as this, we have to make sure to preserve as much evidence as possible for the autopsy. This is true for any case that is sent to the medical examiner’s office, every case across the board that is a shooting, etc.”

A statement from the District Attorney’s Office also released Sunday explained their role in this incident going forward.

“As district attorney, I assure you that any officer involved shooting will be presented to the grand jury. I am confident the circumstances surrounding the death of Toussaint Sims are being thoroughly investigated by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations. While I understand this is a matter of public concern, the Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct limit what information can be released, at this time, pertaining to the ongoing investigation. Specifically, Rule 3.6 prohibits me or my office from communicating to the public certain information, including but not limited to, evidence expected to be presented in ongoing proceedings. Rule 3.8 requires prosecutors to exercise reasonable care to prevent law enforcement from making such public communications, as well. For these reasons, we will not comment on the facts concerning this ongoing investigation.”

According to Moore, his press conference will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Second Street Park and Pavilion in Moss Point, and he plans on releasing the name of the officer involved. Moore had previously said the conference would be at the Riverfront Community Center.

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