City and county notified of lawsuit

By FLOYD INGRAM / THE PRESS REGISTER,

 

The City of Clarksdale and Coahoma County have been named as the potential target of a suit seeking damages following the shooting of Maurice Mason in Clarksdale, March 9.

Attorney Perry Griffin notified the city and county last week he has been hired by Mason after Mason was shot multiply times in the execution of a search warrant at 907 Pecan Street in Clarkdsale. The notice also seeks information held by police and sheriff’s department in that incident

The notice, which only presents facts from one side of the potential suit, said Mason was sleeping when Clarksdale Police and Coahoma County Sheriff’s deputies entered his home.

“He was awakened by numerous officers and deputies of the Clarksdale Police Department and Coahoma County Sheriff’s Office in the residence, who immediately opened gunfire upon unannounced entry striking Maurice Mason no less than 17 times, clearly exhibiting the use of excessive force,” Perry said in his letter to Mayor Chuck Espy and Coahoma County Chancery Court Clerk Carolyn Parham.

Both the city and county met separately in executive session Monday to discuss the notice.

The letter said the warrant used to enter Mason’s home was not for Mason.

Mason was taken to a Memphis hospital and underwent several surgeries.

Perry also refers to other co-plantiffs at Pecan Street at the time of the incident who will be making claims.

The letter does not make a monetary demand but does ask the city and county to seek a settlement.

The letter also asks police and sheriff to preserve evidence in this incident.

In an article in the Clarksdale Press Register at the time of the shooting, Sheriff Charles Jones said he would not comment on the incident as it was an ongoing investigation.

Sheriff Jones did say the MBI (Mississippi Bureau of Investigation) had been called in to investigate the incident.

MBI is routinely called in anytime someone is shot by law enforcement and conducts an independent investigation to see if policy and procedure were followed.

This was the second officer-involved shooting in Clarksdale this year and the third in 18-months.

In January the sheriff’s department was executing a search warrant about 6:30 a.m. on a home in the 400 Block of Florida Street when a person was shot by authorities.

In September, deputies were involved in a shooting incident after they stopped a car in the 900 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard at the corner with Bolivar Avenue.

The victims in both incidents were taken to local and area hospitals and later recovered.

Again, MBI was called in to investigate both of these shootings

 

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