Officials: Measures being put in place to prevent another interstate shutdown by drag racing, other stunts

Published 6:49 am Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and Jackson Police Chief James Davis said the city is putting in place measures to prevent another shutdown of the interstate like the one that happened last weekend.

A video on social media, shows cars drag racing, and doing donuts in the middle of  I-55 Friday night, shutting down traffic in the northbound lanes for nearly an hour. The shutdown prevented officers from getting through traffic to reach those responsible for the incident, Davis said.

Once officers reached where the drag racing was occurring, Davis said the group of people left the scene. With a city “no-chase” policy in place, the officers did not attempt to follow the drivers.

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Similar incidents have occurred in other cities, including Dallas, Atlanta, and most recently in Memphis, Lumumba said.

Lumumba and Davis said JPD has formed a Highway Interdiction Team that will address the situation by saturating the highway increased patrols with police officers 24 hours a day.

Davis said he anticipates the Mississippi Highway Patrol and the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department to assist his department with the Highway Interdiction Team.

Davis said the department is looking through videos to help identify suspects in the incident. One teen has been arrested after turning himself in Saturday. The teen is being charged with reckless driving, obstructing traffic, and disorderly conduct.

More arrests are expected.