Mississippi sheriff apologizes for racist text, NAACP leader confirms

Published 4:12 pm Monday, August 19, 2019

A Mississippi NAACP chapter leader says a sheriff has apologized for recently discovered racist remarks.

However, the county supervisors who appropriate funds to the sheriff’s office tell the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal they won’t reprimand the sheriff, with one supervisor blaming a fellow supervisor who released text messages under a public records request.

Lee County NAACP President Chris Traylor asked Sheriff Jim Johnson to apologize after Johnson said in a text message to another white elected official that a Hispanic state lawmaker is “worse than a black person.”

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The newspaper obtained Johnson’s 2017 messages exchanged with Lee County Supervisor Phil Morgan. Both men complained about state Rep. Shane Aguirre of Tupelo.

Traylor says he received Johnson’s letter but won’t share it until chapter leaders vote Thursday on accepting the apology.