Gulfport Mayor responds to police shooting controversy

Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes is taking to social media to defend Gulfport Police Chief Adam Cooper and address controversy surrounding the deadly officer-involved shooting that happened on October 6th.

In a video posted to the city’s Facebook page, Mayor Hewes expresses his heartbreak over the loss the family of 15-year-old Jaheim McMillan is experiencing.

He also defended members of the Gulfport Police Department from what he says are attacks from people on social media and other media platforms while also calling Chief Cooper “a man of great integrity, honesty, and compassion.”

Hewes reiterated in his remarks the investigation is active and ongoing as the justice system works to confirm and piece together the events of that day. “We owe it to ourselves to allow the system to work for the truth we all seek. The facts in this case will bear themselves out when the investigation concludes. In the meantime, the unwarranted public abuse of our police force, based upon lies, conjecture, supposition, and a misplaced national narrative must stop.”

As with all officer-involved shootings in the state, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation into this case.

The agency will then turn its findings over to the state attorney general’s office once the investigation is complete.

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