Mississippi

What to do here

Click a "Get Template" button to get an email template about a specific issue. Edit the template to connect on a more personal level with your lawmaker. See the Contacting Logistics page for information about how to write an effective email to your lawmakers. Get your lawmakers' emails with the search box to the right. Send the email!

Be sure to check out the Next Steps at the bottom of the page. Go to the References/Further Reading page to see our sources and do some research of your own.

Last updated Jan. 20, 2020

Summary

Key:

Legislation Achieved

Some Progress

No Progress

  • Demilitarization

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    No knock warrants
    1033 program
    Military-style training
    SWAT data

    Mississippi a

  • For Profit Policing

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    Civil asset forfeiture
    Quotas
    Cost of misconduct

    Mississippi b

  • Broken Windows Policing

    Minor offenses
    Objective justification for stops
    Reporting stop details

    Mississippi c

  • Accountability

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    Reckless civil rights violation
    Independent investigation
    Qualified immunity

    Mississippi d

  • Reinvesting in Communities

    Mental health response

    Education, housing, and community health resources

    Mississippi e

Demilitarization

Learn about demilitarization and the specific issues below on the Demilitarization page (opens in a new window).

 

No knock warrants

No Progress:

Mississippi has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants.

1033 purchases

No Progress:

Mississippi has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments.

Military style training

No Progress:

Mississippi has not yet enacted a law refocusing training away from self-defense responses and towards community centered training like that offered by Blue Courage. In 2018, the state actually introduced legislation to authorize emergency medical technicians to carry a weapon--further militarizing state services against their residents.

SWAT data

No Progress:

Mississippi has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.

For Profit Policing

Learn about for profit policing and the specific issues below on the For Profit Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Civil asset forfeiture

Some Progress:

According to the Institute for Justice, Mississippi has a low bar to forfeit assets, does not require a conviction, maintains stronger protections for innocent third-party property owners, and allows 80% of forfeiture proceeds to go to law enforcement in most cases.

Pending Legislation: HB 292, introduced in January 2021, cements the use of civil asset forfeiture to increase the budgets of law enforcement agencies. MtM encourages legislators to OPPOSE this legislation.

Quotas

No Progress:

Mississippi has not yet enacted a law ending quotas for low-level arrests.

Cost of misconduct

No Progress:

Mississippi has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.

Broken Windows Policing

Learn about broken windows policing and the specific issues below on the Broken Windows Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Minor offenses

No Progress:

Mississippi has not decriminalized (or de-prioritized the policing of) minor offenses that do not threaten public safety such as spitting and loitering. However, voters in November 2020 did approve Amendment 65 to legalize medical marijuana.

Objective justification for stops

No Progress:

Mississippi has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop (i.e. not simply for furtive movement, suspicious activity, or matching a generalized description). In 2018, Jackson, MS did ban smells (i.e. alcohol) and odors (i.e. marijuana) from constituting 'reasonable cause' for the search of a vehicle.

Reporting stop details

No Progress:

Mississippi has not yet enacted a law requiring comprehensive reporting of police stops (noting location, race, gender, whether force was used and whether a firearm was found).

Accountability

Learn about accountability and the specific issues below on the Accountability page (opens in a new window).

 

Reckless civil rights violation

No Progress:

Mississippi has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights.

Independent investigation

No Progress:

Mississippi has not yet enacted a law institutionalizing an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct.

Pending Legislation: HB 1060, introduced in January 2021, requires the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation to investigate any case of an officer-involved death.

Qualified immunity

No Progress:

Mississippi has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity.

Reinvesting in Communities

Learn about reinvesting in communities and the specific issues below on the Reinvesting in Communities page (opens in a new window).

 

Mental health response

Some Progress:

Mississippi police departments work alongside Community Health Care Centers to more effectively respond to situations. Some departments also receive sensitivity training from MS Department of Mental Health Crisis Intervention Teams.

Education, Housing, Community Health Resources

No Progress:

It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.

Next Steps

No matter what, register to vote:

Contacting officials is just one piece of the puzzle we can't stop there. We need to make sure our elected officials reflect our values and support reform at every level of government. Register here:

To keep these policies at the forefront:

Keep emailing about them (if you just finished the 5 Days Challenge, keep up the schedule—set reminders in your phone to email about each issue on its specific day).

To ask for more than this:

Use our templates as a model to ask for bigger changes. Color for Change and The Movement for Black Lives both have specific policy related to a reimagined law enforcement system. If you think there are additional policies we ought to consider, send your thoughts our way.

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