/No free kill’ Protesters confront AG Lynn Fitch after she drops charge of white officer who killed black man in 2015

No free kill’ Protesters confront AG Lynn Fitch after she drops charge of white officer who killed black man in 2015

Danyelle Harris, organizer of the Poor People’s Campaign, stated that the rally was not asking for permission. We demand answers. This is not a rally for pep. “We mean business.” In 2016, former Columbus Police Department officer Canyon Boykin was arrested by Jim Hood for shooting and killing Ricky Ball (a 26-year old black man) during a traffic stop in 2015. Boykin and the other officers who were with him did not use their body cameras during the incident. The details of what took place that night have not been made public. Fitch was elected to the office in November 2019 as a Republican by the Republican administration of Hood. Hood was a Democrat. Fitch was elected the first Republican to this position since 1800s. Fitch stated in a two-sentence declaration that evidence in the case suggested “necessary defense.” The statement said that the Attorney General’s Office had reviewed thousands of documents in the case file and determined that there was no evidence to support the prosecution of Officer Boykin. “In fact, all evidence including forensics as well as the sworn statements by four different MBI investigators points to necessary self defense.” The Poor People’s Campaign sponsored Friday’s event. The speakers passionately appealed for the frustration of the crowd, not only about Ball’s passing but also about other black Mississippians who were killed in police encounters. David Horton shouted into a megaphone, his voice choked up. “I don’t fear standing up for my child. I don’t hesitate to stand up for my people. If it is for a good cause, I don’t mind being killed. “I’m not afraid. Horton stated, in front of the building housing the attorney general, “You want me to fear.” At the rally, several elected officials spoke, including Scott Colom (City Attorney), Rep. Kabir Karriem (D-Columbus), and Cheikh Taylor (D-Starkville). Karriem discussed the failures of attempts to pass reforms in the state Legislature around criminal justice reform and racial justice reform. Karriem stated that “Everyday the first thing we do every day is pray.” Then, we turn around to do the most meanest things to people. She called for the shutdown of Parchman, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, and the modification of the state flag which contains the Confederate battle emblem. “Something’s gotto change, folks.” Lea Campbell (co-chair of Mississippi Poor People’s Campaign) addressed white Mississippians about their roles in the movement. She said that this was about the oppression that people like you and me have created. However, organizers were able to find a white man carrying a gun in a nearby parking lot. The situation did not escalate as protesters shouted at the parking lot. Harris said, “He has come in to intimidate us,” through the megaphone. Fitch had been addressed by the group, but Fitch was not allowed inside the building. Protesters demanded that they be allowed in for 30 minutes after moving the rally from the Capitol building across the street. The Capitol Police prevented them from entering. Finally, Rep. Zakiya Sommers, D.Jackson, addressed the crowd and promised that she would give the letter to legislators. Summers stated that the public should know what Fitch had access to in order to determine if there was any premeditation or cause. Harris promised that the rallies would continue until more information was available about the events surrounding Ball’s death. Harris stated that he felt a shift after the rally. Harris said that he felt a shift and would be back next week as well as the week after. “We’re not going anywhere.”