In Mississippi, a supermajority of white Republicans in the state House of Representatives has approved a bill to establish a separate court system and an expanded police force within the city of Jackson, which is 80% African American. If the legislation becomes law, it will place Mississippi’s public safety commissioner — who is currently white — in charge of an expanded Capitol Police force in Jackson. Local judges would be handpicked by Mississippi’s Supreme Court chief justice, who is white. And prosecutors and public defenders would be selected by the state attorney general, who also is white. Voters in every other county court system in Mississippi elect judges and prosecutors. After viewing Tuesday’s debate in the Mississippi House gallery, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said, “It reminds me of apartheid.”
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