Mississippi court rules police officer shooting was justified

Published 8:37 am Thursday, June 25, 2020

An appeals court has upheld a ruling that a Mississippi police officer was justified when he fatally shot a Black Louisiana man, who called police after a car crash.

U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett ruled in September that Petal police officer Aaron Jernigan was protecting himself when he fatally shot Marc Davis of LaPlace, Louisiana, in 2017.

On Monday, the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with Starrett’s ruling, The Clarion Ledger reported.

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Davis, 34, was driving on Mississippi 42 on June 2, 2017, when he was involved in a car crash in Petal.

Davis called police and Jernigan arrived, but later the pair got into an argument and Jernigan shot Davis three times. Davis later died at the hospital.

Jernigan said Davis physically assaulted him, attempted to take his gun, and refused orders to stand down.

Yoshanta Albert, mother of Davis’ five children, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2018, claiming Jernigan shot Davis unexpectedly and without a warning shot. The lawsuit also claimed that Jernigan used excessive force.

Starett threw out the lawsuit, stating Jernigan didn’t use excessive force and if he did, Jernigan was “entitled” to, considering the situation.

Albert was among the large crowd that rallied earlier this month in front of the state Capitol against police brutality after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed in Minneapolis last month while in police custody.

“This is not what justice looks like: a child without a father,” Albert said at the protest, as she waved a photo of her 2-year-old daughter, Leah, standing next to her father’s casket. “I waited three years. His death was swept under the rug.”