Mississippi attorney general says 3 police shootings were justified

FILE - Mississippi Republican Attorney General Lynn Fitch addresses the crowd at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Miss., July 26, 2023. Three 2022 Mississippi police shootings were justified, the state Attorney General's Office said Tuesday, Oct. 31. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Three separate police shootings in Mississippi in 2022 were justified, the state Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday.

In one episode, a woman was hit by a stray police bullet while lying in bed. In another, a woman was shot and killed inside a Walmart after taking an employee hostage. The third involved a George County Sheriff’s Office deputy in east Mississippi, but authorities have revealed little else about that case.

“In all three incidents, the Attorney General’s Office found the use of force was justified,” the office said in a statement Tuesday.

The reviews by the Attorney General’s Office followed probes by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, which examines all shootings by or of law enforcement officers. The Attorney General’s Office did not offer any details about its conclusions or reasoning.

In the stray bullet shooting, Latasha Smith of Jackson was in bed on Dec. 11, 2022, when an officer from the state-run Capitol Police fired several bullets at a suspect running through her Jackson apartment complex, according to federal court records. A stray bullet entered Smith’s apartment and struck her arm. Smith, who said her teenage daughter was home during the episode, was taken to a hospital.

Surveillance videos appeared to show the officer firing on a man who was fleeing after jumping out of a car police suspected was stolen.

Smith sued Mississippi Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell and Capitol Police Chief Bo Luckey, arguing that police officers under their watch violated her constitutional rights by acting with “deliberate indifference” for her life. A federal judge dismissed her lawsuit in July.

In the Walmart shooting, Richland police shot and killed Corlunda McGinister, 21, of West Helena, Arkansas. A video posted to social media showed McGinister holding a gun in one hand and using the other hand to grab a person wearing a Walmart employee vest.

McGinister yelled that she needed help and wanted to talk to a news anchor. Another video on social media showed police telling the armed woman to put her hands up. She yelled that she was not trying to hurt anybody.



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