There was no sentiment to defund the police at the Jackson town hall meeting at Forestry Center at the Ag Museum off Lakeland Drive.
In fact, the 100 or so citizens who showed up had the precise opposite sentiment, demanding more police on the streets of Jackson.
The meeting was organized by Northsider Ashby Foote who represents the Northside on the Jackson city council.
Homeowners complained of teenagers roaming the streets with guns on their belts intimidating their neighborhoods. They complained that Mississippi's open carry law and gun shows were destabilizing their communities. Police said they could not arrest people for openly carrying guns.
Jackson Police chief James Davis, Hinds County Sheriff Lee Vance, Hinds County DA Jody Owen's and Patrick Lemon from the U. S. Attorney's Office all spoke to the crowd.
Police officials said Jackson's surging rate of violent crime reflected national trends. The Covid crisis has created a surge in violent crime nationwide. Most of the crimes are interpersonal, police said, meaning the victims were personally connected to their assailants. Police cited deep-rooted social dysfunction as the root cause of the violence. Most of the murders, they said, would have been impossible to prevent by police.
Teenagers are living with teenagers with no positive role models. Gangs and drug wars are running rampant, complained police and town hall participants. No easy solution was apparent.
The second half of the video is below.