Jackson Police Changing Roadblock Practices After Settlement With Residents

A mother and three children walked home in the rain after Jackson Police officers impounded their car at a roadblock earlier this year. Multiple Jackson residents filed against the City in February 2022 over JPD’s roadblock practices, leading to a settlement this week. At a press conference on Friday, one of the plaintiffs, Archie Skiffer, Jr., said the agreement is a victory for people like that family, whose story he shared with reporters.

The Mississippi Center for Justice and the MacArthur Justice Center, whose attorneys represented the plaintiffs, said “the City of Jackson and Police Chief James E. Davis agreed to overhaul its roadblock policies and submit to federal court enforcement” in a statement on the settlement on Thursday.

“During our canvassing efforts in South Jackson, (we learned) about a mother of three who had her vehicle towed and was forced to walk home with her children in the rain,” Skiffer said during the press conference. He also told the story of “a single mother who was relying on DoorDash because she didn’t have insurance” and who as a result was “spending this exorbitant amount of money on delivery services just to avoid a ticket.”

The settlement that the City of Jackson and Police Chief James Davis reached with five plaintiffs creates new roadblock policies for the City.

On Friday, City of Jackson Communications Director Melissa F. Payne told the Mississippi that “the City has no comment at this time” when asked for a response to the settlement.

Five Jackson residents filed the class-action lawsuit against the City of Jackson and Police Chief James E. Davis in February, alleging that the policies resulted in the “disproportionate placement of vehicular roadblocks, or checkpoints, in majority-Black and low-income neighborhoods.” The lawsuit pointed specifically to a roadblock program known as “Ticket, Arrest, and Tow,” also known as TAT. U.S. Southern Mississippi District Court Judge Kristi H. Johnson signed the settlement agreement in the case on Oct. 5, 2022.

“I celebrate this victory with those two individuals and their households, and hopefully, this will reduce further harm, although the harm has already been caused

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