Home » Ex-rep slams Mississippi’s cops, court plan as “Jim Crow 2.0”

Ex-rep slams Mississippi’s cops, court plan as “Jim Crow 2.0”

by The Grio

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Efforts by the majority-white Mississippi Legislature to create courts with appointed rather than elected judges and to expand patrols by state police inside the majority-Black capital city of Jackson amount to “Jim Crow 2.0,” a Democratic former state lawmaker said Tuesday.

Ex-Rep. Kathy Sykes of Jackson also said people in other parts of the U.S. should pay attention to what’s happening in Mississippi because ideas in one state can spread to others. Sykes, who supports abortion rights, mentioned the U.S. Supreme Court using a Mississippi case last year to upend abortion access nationwide.

“We’re the state that took away a woman’s right to choose for her and her doctor to make decisions on her body,” Sykes said. “So if we don’t get involved around this country and around this world, we’re going to have takeovers all over the United States where there is majority-minority representation.”

The Mississippi House and Senate this year have passed different versions of bills dealing with police and courts in Jackson, which has the highest percentage of Black residents of any major U.S. city. Negotiators from the two chambers are expected to work on final versions of the bills in the next two weeks.

One of the bills is sponsored by Republican Rep. Trey Lamar of Senatobia, a small town more than 170 miles (275 kilometers) north of Jackson. He said he’s trying to make Jackson safer and reduce a backlog in the judicial system.

“There is nothing racial about the bill on its face, and there is no intent for the effect to be racial,” Lamar, who is white, told The Associated Press last month.

During a news conference Tuesday outside the state Capitol building, Wendell Paris of the Minority People’s Council said the proposal to have appointed judges violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He also said it’s unfair for legislators from other…

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