JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba addressed the issue of violent crime after the Capital City reached an unfortunate milestone with 100 homicides in 2020 so far.
Lumumba acknowledged that the City of Jackson is in crisis, as is the rest of the country, as violent crime numbers have risen across the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lumumba says it’s important to have all hands on deck--which means using more resources than just police.
“It’s not just on our police officers in order to solve the rise of crime,” he said.
Lumumba says social services need to be used, “because by the time JPD is called out, it is too late.”
He says crime rises as social services get defunded, and he’s calling on the community to help identify the people who need help before they resort to violence.
“It is the community that’s closest to the solutions, and we need your support.”
He added that he sympathizes with the victims of violence, as his brother was one.
Police Chief James Davis offered a similar outlook. He says he’s ‘heartbroken’ over the city’s homicides, listing specific examples of ones that have been difficult to deal with.
He says the pandemic, as well as mental health issues and domestic issues have all contributed to the rise in violent crime, saying people are “living on the edge.”
“We’re plagued with many problems but we don’t settle for excuses; we look for solutions,” Davis said.
He called on the community to let calmer heads prevail and work through solutions without resorting to violence.