Mississippi police arrest protesters after city hall dispute

Published 10:01 am Monday, February 6, 2023

By The Associated Press

Five people have been arrested following a confrontation between police and protesters in a south Mississippi city over the October death of a Black teenager who was shot by police. The arrest followed protests Thursday at a city building in Gulfport, where demonstrations have taken place for months in response to the killing of Jaheim McMillan, a 15-year-old who died days after police shot him in the head outside a discount store. Protesters entered the Gulfport City Hall building and chanted from the lobby. They did not comply with requests to exit the building and employees called the police, according to the Sun Herald. Protesters eventually went outside where the arrests were made.

In video footage of the arrests reviewed by the newspaper, police officers are seen wrestling one woman to the ground and restraining her with zip ties. In a news release, the Gulfport Police Department wrote that protesters “escalated the situation to the point where staff members were in fear for their safety.” One officer was hit with a bullhorn, the department said. The five protesters who were arrested were charged with between nine and 12 offenses, including assault, obstructing sidewalks and desecration of national flags. Gulfport police said in a news release that McMillan was shot after officers responded to a 911 call about several minors waving guns at other drivers. McMillan’s family doesn’t believe he was armed and has demanded the release of footage of the shooting for months. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes told WLOX-TV that he expects the footage to be released “by the end of this month.”

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