Press conference held over Madison County traffic stop
JACKSON, Tenn. — Wednesday, the Jackson-Madison County Branch of the NAACP held a press conference regarding a traffic stop conducted by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
They were joined by the complainants and their legal counsel.
“The NAACP has taken their complaint and we believe that it is valid to work with. The action that was taken by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department was ill-advised by the way that they handled what should have been just a simple traffic stop,” said Harrell Carter, the President of the NAACP Jackson-Madison County Branch.
Reem Cooper, the man who was pulled over and later taken into custody, spoke and recalled the incident in question.
“I only saw glare from the rain drops, the film of dust, a tree line, and a carrier side right there before my eyes. I did not see any safe passageway, therefore me and and my family took the passage that was safe, which was left of that officer, which was a clearance. And I took that way to get my family safely to where we were traveling and back home,” Reem said.
According to Reem, Officer Jacob Nickell pulled him over and immediately demanded him to get out of the car without telling him the reason for the stop or asking for identification.
Officer Nickell later forced Cooper out of his car. Attorney Marcus Lipham, who is representing Reem, says this is not the first time he has seen this activity from Officer Nickell.
“I would suggest that if the sheriff’s department and the district attorney go to each incident that this deputy is involved in where there is a charge of resisting arrest or evading arrest, they’ll find that there is more and more of these types of situations of excessive force,” Lipham said.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office released a statement Wednesday morning saying that the investigation is still ongoing. However, they anticipate its conclusion next week.
They said once the investigation is complete, they will send the results to the district attorney for review.
“As of the time of this update, the internal investigation is still in progress. However, we anticipate its conclusion by next week. We understand the importance of providing timely information to the public and the media, and we want to assure you that once the investigation is completed, the results will be forwarded to the District Attorney for review.
While the investigation is underway, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office is unable to provide specific comments or statements regarding the details of the incident. Our policy dictates that we refrain from discussing open investigations to maintain their integrity and protect the rights of all parties involved.
We acknowledge that transparency, accountability, and maintaining the trust of our community are of utmost importance. Rest assured that as soon as the internal investigation is concluded, and the District Attorney has had the opportunity to review the findings, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office will provide a comprehensive update to the media and the public.
We greatly appreciate your understanding and cooperation during this process. Please know that we remain committed to keeping you informed while ensuring the integrity of the investigation.”
“And, again, like the counsel said, I think they should go to an independent agency like the TBI to make sure that they do a thorough investigation about the conduct of these officers. And to perhaps make some recommendations for how we are going to police going forward,” Carter said.
Cooper filed a separate claim in 2020 where he claimed to have been injured by officers. This claim was dismissed for failure to state a claim pursuant.
Lipham says they will address the criminal matter first before looking to see if there is basis for a civil rights lawsuit.
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