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Mississippi governor signs bill expanding state control over Jackson’s judicial system and policing

<i>CNN</i><br/>Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba of Jackson
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba of Jackson

By Omar Jimenez and Devon M. Sayers, CNN

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed on Friday legislation that expands the state’s law enforcement reach in the city of Jackson and implements major changes to its judicial system.

One of the laws signed on Friday, SB 2343, will expand the state-controlled Capitol Police jurisdiction from its current boundaries around state buildings to almost the entire city. The law enforcement agency will report primarily to state-appointed leadership instead of local officials.

Another law, HB 1020, will establish a new court system within the boundaries of a state-created district known as the Capitol Complex Improvement District — an area that includes the state Capitol building, downtown, Jackson State University, and nearby neighborhoods and businesses. That judge will be appointed, not elected, by the Republican state chief justice with prosecuting attorneys appointed by the Republican state attorney general to help with low-level cases.

The state will also establish a new 911 call center to answer calls within the CCID.

The governor had previously expressed his support for the measure, which passed in the state’s House of Representatives last month with a 72-41 vote.

Critics previously said the measure would put mostly White, conservative state officials in control of much of a city where more than 80% of residents are Black and is a majority Democratic city.

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