Thursday, June 26, 2008

Officer Accused Of Stealing Money

A Jackson Police officer is suspended with pay as authorities investigate claims that he stole money from customers at a South Jackson nightclub.

JPD has launched an internal and criminal investigation into one of its own.

The officer is accused of presenting himself as an on-duty police officer when he was actually off-duty at the time.

According to the owner of El Jardin De Las Aves, the officer stopped undocumented immigrants and checked them or their cars. The owner said the officer would then take money from their wallet.

The officer's name is pending the outcome of the investigation.

"If allegations against officers prove to be true, then I'm going to take the appropriate action" said JPD Chief Malcolm McMillin.

Patricia Ice works with the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, and said that undocumented workers make for easy prey.

"Immigrants often cannot get bank accounts because they don't have a social security number," said Ice.

Because of that, they often carry large amounts of cash on them. But Ice said these types of crimes aren't simply limited to undocumented people.

"Basically what they're doing is racial profiling," said Ice.

That's because Ice said that she's had similar complaints from people in the state legally.

As for the officer accused, if he's found guilty, Ice said she wants the officer to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law so that it can serve as a learning lesson for others in the same position.

The outcome of the criminal and civil investigations is expected by the end of the week.

Police Brutality Lawsuit


An East Brewton couple has filed a police brutality lawsuit that claims harassment by an officer cause the woman to give birth prematurely.

The civil complaint filed in federal court in Mobile by Michael Palmer and Amber Ballard accuses Officer Jason Crawford, Police Chief B.C. Cooper and unnamed officers with 13 violations of state and federal law.

Neither Cooper nor Crawford, who has left the Police Department, could be reached for comment.

The suit, reported Wednesday by the Press-Register, claims Crawford repeatedly stopped and harassed Palmer at work and other locations in East Brewton. It states that Crawford grabbed Ballard's hand during a 2006 traffic stop and pushed her into the car, pressing against her stomach. The suit says that, later that month, Ballard gave birth about five weeks before her due date.