Mississippi NAACP Wants Answers in Shooting

Published March 23, 2009

Mississippi NAACP leaders want to know why the officer who shot an African-American man during a police road block is back on the street.

"We would like to see the officer, first off, taken off the streets again until this investigation has been conducted," said Rev. Jimmy Richardson, President of the Pearl River County NAACP.

Mississippi NAACP Vice President Clarence Magee agreed.

"Our whole intent is to be sure that if his civil rights are violated, somebody should answer for it," Magee said.

The officer was given five days off right after the incident, but his department had no policy in place to deal with officers involved in a shooting, according to Poplarville Police Chief Charlie Fazende. The incident in question involved 30-year-old Kirmon Warren of Slidell, who stopped in Poplarville to get gas.

"One officer walked up and asked me why I had my hands in my pocket,” he told TV station WLOX. “I told him it was no reason, and I took my hand out my pocket.  I raised my hands and he told me to give him everything in my pocket.  I followed his orders and gave him everything out of my pocket.”

That’s when the situation escalated, Warren said.

"They opened the door and tried to snatch me out the car.  I had my seat belt on because I'm at a check point and my car is still in drive.  They tried to snatch me out the car.  They said I'm resisting, and I'm telling them I'm not resisting.  If they'd look they'd see I'm in my seat belt. Next thing I know, they're tazing me.  As they are tazing, they're still trying to snatch me out the car.”

Warren said he has marks on his hands from the Taser gun which proves he had his hands up at the time he was Tased. At one point, he said, one of the four officer fired two shots through his rear window, hitting him in the back.

"I felt the blood, and I felt my whole side was wet.  I looked at my girl who was riding with me and said, 'They shot me.'  I just pulled off, I panicked," Warren said.

Richardson is angry.

"I would like to see it come from a professional opinion whether or not [the officer] is mentally fit to be placed back on the streets,” he said. “What we would like to see happen is policies and procedures put in place. We would like to see it go before the Board of Aldermen so they can vote on it one way or another.”

Written by BET.com Staff

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