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Columbus hosts town hall to address citizen concerns

At City Hall in Columbus, city leaders gathered to address concerns and questions citizens had about police procedure and the legal status of the Ricky Ball shooting.

Posted: Jun 9, 2020 10:10 PM
Updated: Jun 10, 2020 9:55 AM

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - At City Hall in Columbus, city leaders gathered to address concerns and questions citizens had about police procedure and the legal status of the Ricky Ball shooting.

"We're not taught that in academy, and that's not an authorized technique," Columbus Police Chief Fred Shelton said pointing to a picture of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on the neck of George Floyd.

Shelton outlined the various use of force situations and what his police are trained to do and when. He also stated that if a person experiences unnecessary use of force by police, to contact his office. He and the police oversight committee in Columbus review those cases and the body camera footage. Shelton said that his officers are required to use body cameras and they are working to expand their technology to dash cams.

"If it's a lawful action, we have a right to do a lawful action," Shelton said. "Our officers are trained and should know without a doubt because we have policies in place." 

Columbus District Attorney Scott Colom spoke at length about developing a class to educate the police department on inherent bias, which he asserted that are present in every person, not just police.

"What we've gotta do is acknowledge that these biases exist," Colom said. "We have to have police officers who are honest and courageous enough to acknowledge to have what everyone has but yet be willing to receive the training necessary to address it."

Colom also addressed the Ricky Ball case. He stated that his office, from a legal standpoint, can't do anything about the case. However, they are petitioning the FBI to re-open it, but according to Colom that may be an uphill battle.

"It's important that we not give the false impression that the FBI is currently looking at this case," Colom said. "I don't want you think that I can force the FBI, under the current administration to investigate this case."

Colom added that he will be posting evidence from the case on his website for people to review and "make up their own minds" about the case. Several other people spoke at the town hall as well. As Mayor Robert Smith put it, it's important to have these conversations, to hear the concerns as cities and towns across the United States try to create a better society for all.

The full version of the town hall is located here: Columbus Town Hall

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115763

Reported Deaths: 3263
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
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Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
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Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 158701

Reported Deaths: 2680
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23292377
Mobile16916315
Tuscaloosa10345140
Montgomery10250197
Madison935096
Shelby739063
Baldwin665869
Lee654665
Calhoun459961
Marshall439550
Etowah428551
Houston417034
Morgan416435
DeKalb342629
Elmore320853
St. Clair295542
Limestone287230
Walker279492
Talladega266435
Cullman248024
Lauderdale229442
Jackson215915
Autauga205931
Franklin205531
Colbert202132
Russell19493
Blount193225
Chilton188432
Dallas186627
Coffee177111
Dale176351
Covington174729
Escambia172730
Clarke135217
Chambers135044
Pike134113
Tallapoosa132987
Marion108129
Barbour10339
Marengo101922
Butler101140
Winston92913
Geneva9067
Lawrence85832
Pickens85218
Bibb84014
Randolph82716
Hale76830
Washington74912
Clay74412
Cherokee73814
Henry7176
Lowndes71328
Bullock64917
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60830
Perry5926
Fayette57713
Cleburne5698
Wilcox56812
Conecuh56113
Macon53620
Lamar4965
Sumter47221
Choctaw39212
Greene34216
Coosa2043
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