Mississippi not left out of call for body cam footage

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Mayor Ken Featherstone of Indianola, MS is seen listening to Kelvin Franklin, surrounded by his supporters, express why he wants bodycam footage of his December 2022 arrest by Indianola police officers. (Advocate photos)

By Alice Thomas-Tisdale

JA Publisher Emerita

A small, yet impactful group of concerned citizens from across the state met Tuesday at the courthouse in Indianola, MS calling for the release of police bodycam footage associated with the December 30, 2022 arrest of Staff Sergeant Kelvin Franklin.

Among the organizations represented were the NAACP, Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of Greenville, and the New Black Panther Party. 

A number of reporters from Black broadcast and print media outlets were on hand for a press conference that followed Franklin’s court hearing.

According to Franklin, he was choked, beaten, and tased in the neck by officers of the Indianola Police Department (IPD). 

Family members present at the scene claim he became unresponsive after the alleged abuse. 

Franklin, an active duty military member based in Hattiesburg, MS at Camp Shelby, plans to file an official complaint against the IPD. 

Charges stemming from the arrest include carrying a concealed weapon and resisting arrest. 

At Tuesday’s press conference, he spoke directly to Indianola Mayor Ken Featherstone about his encounter with his police officers. While not acknowledging any wrongdoing, Featherstone listened attentively to Franklin for some 20 minutes and answered questions by the media. He also informed the group that their request for bodycam footage would have to be directed to the city attorney.

Angela Buckner, who organized the press conference, was the first journalist to report on Franklin’s arrest. She is also covering two other alleged police brutality cases in the state.

The first case involves Michael Corey Jenkins whose family is alleging that he was shot in the mouth, choked, tased, beaten, and sodomized while in police custody in Rankin Co. They also claim that after he was hospitalized they have not been permitted to see him, or been informed as to why he is in police custody. 

The second case is Monterian Dotson, who alleges he received bodily harm when he was thrown on a vehicle by Jones County Sheriff Joe Berlin while in a parking lot in Laurel, MS. 

Dotson has since hired an attorney.

For more information, contact Angela Buckner at 662.207.2077 or email atbuckner2018@yahoo.com.

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Mississippi not left out of call for body cam footage

By Jackson Advocate News Service
February 13, 2023