Two new laws passed by the Mississippi legislature and signed into law by the governor are going to further remove the Jackson police and so-called justice system from any semblance of control by the people of Jackson. The first, House Bill 1020, establishes a separate, parallel court system for parts of Jackson with judges and prosecutors appointed by the state government, rather than elected by local people. The second, Senate Bill 2343, will extend the jurisdiction of the Capitol Police in Jackson to cover broader parts of the city and not just the areas immediately surrounding the Capitol buildings.
These laws usurp the power of Jackson residents – the vast majority of whom are Black – to control the police and local judicial system. They are part of a long history of suppression of Black political power. But these laws highlight something more: the whole system of policing and prisons has always been anti-democratic and repressive to its core. The police were created as a force to control and repress the working class and people of color. These new laws just expose the naked truth: the police don’t serve or protect the people – they serve and protect the rich!