Two bystanders killed in Mississippi police chases over last four weeks

Published 8:57 pm Monday, August 15, 2022

For the second time in less than a month, an innocent bystander was killed during a police chase involving the same Mississippi department.

One person was killed Sunday during a police chase that began in Pearl. The chase ended when the vehicle that was being pursued crashed into a motorcycle, killing the driver.

Public information officer Greg Flynn said a Pearl police officer attempted to make a traffic stop when a silver sedan took off. The officer pursued the vehicle into the neighboring city of Flowood, where police there joined the chase until it ended after the fleeing vehicle struck a motorcycle

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Flynn said police later discovered the man was driving with a suspended license and had felony convictions at the federal and state levels. He is being charged with felony fleeing resulting in death.

Pearl police, Flowood police, the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office and the Flowood Fire Department responded to the scene.

Three weeks ago, another vehicle being pursued by Pearl police crashed into a U.S. Postal Service truck in Jackson, killing mail carrier Brad Pennington, 32. That chase began when police attempted to pull over a man for speeding. The man allegedly failed to pull over, and police chased him into Jackson until he crashed his Toyota Camry into Pennington’s mail truck.

After the July incident, Pearl Mayor Jake Windham said the city’s police officers were “not one bit” responsible for Pennington’s death. A former police officer himself, Windham said the officer involved in the pursuit followed department policy, WLBT-TV reported.

A Pearl city clerk denied WLBT-TV’s request for information on the police department’s pursuit policy. The clerk cited state attorney general guidance from 2010 that documents relating to officer training and written procedures are exempt from the Public Records Act. The news outlet also asked for the department’s body camera policy, which was denied under the same claim.

Windham did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Associated Press.