MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - “No justice, no sleep."
Those are the words that were chanted by members of the Moss Point community Sunday as they gathered to remember Diamon Sims. Sims, 27, was killed during an officer-involved shooting Thursday evening.
Sims’ family spoke Sunday at a press conference, demanding justice, as well as the termination of the police chief and the officer who fired the deadly shots. Members of Moss Point’s community showed up to support the family and help them mourn the loss of Sims.
As they said goodbye, many residents who live in the area where Sims was shot say deaths of young black men in their community and across the country have become the norm.
“It’s like it’s becoming a pattern," said Archie Williams Sr. “Let’s face it, killing kids that don’t have guns but thinking that they have guns."
Williams said his nephew was killed by a police officer in a similar fashion in another state and said that the officer involved in that shooting did not use the training that he was given.
“If I’m an officer, it’s my job, I’ve got the training," said Williams. “So, it’s my job to go through my training procedures to make sure that this person does not have a weapon."
Shawn Watson knows firsthand what the family is going through. His son also died three years ago after an altercation with the Moss Point Police. He says change is needed starting inside his own community.
“That’s the way we gotta do when we see a young man that we think is on the wrong path... We can’t judge," said Watson. “We just pray for him, talk to him and direct him on the right path."
Watson said that the time for games is over. “It’s time out for the cover up, it’s time to be a man. If I do something, I need to pay the price and you know, suffer the consequences."
NAACP Jackson County President Curley Clark said that a relationship between law enforcement and the people is the only way to see real change.
“I think there’s just too much hate and not enough love. I think we’ve got to be understanding of each other," said Clark. “I think the community needs to embrace law enforcement and law enforcement needs to have a relationship with the community. We’re gonna work in this community to try and bridge that gap between law enforcement and the community and try to make sure that this a better place to live going forward."
Moss Point Mayor Mario King would not comment on whether he watched the family press conference or whether he will answer Carlos Moore’s call to fire the police officer, Chief Brandon Ashley or call the Board of Aldermen into an emergency meeting. King told us he will be making a full statement Monday before noon.
Sims’ cousin and family attorney Carlos Moore called for action at the press conference, saying he, his family, and anyone else in the community who wants to join in will be staging a sit-in at city hall Monday beginning at noon. He said they will stay as long as is necessary until the board of aldermen hold an emergency meeting.
Watch the full press conference with Moore and the family of Diamon Sims below: