Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Man killed during police chase

Clinton police issued the following statement:

At approx. 11:40 P.M. Monday, officers of the Clinton Police Dept. were notified of a shoplifting that had just taken place at Wal-Mart on Hwy 80 in Clinton. The suspects had taken computer and electronics equipment. The tag on the suspect vehicle was switched and we are investigating the possibility that the car is stolen. The suspects were spotted by CPD officers as they left the parking lot and headed east toward Jackson.
CPD officers attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver chose to flee through west Jackson and Clinton Police Officers pursued in accordance with existing state law. JPD was notified and they did respond by blocking side streets. The suspect continued to flee until he crossed over into oncoming traffic and struck another vehicle on Capitol St. at Tennessee Ave. in Jackson.
The driver of the 2nd vehicle was killed in the collision. Our condolences go out to his family.
The driver and passengers of the suspect vehicle were all taken to UMC where they remain. The driver of the suspect vehicle has not been positively identified.

 Suspect information
Donnell Williams Johnson
1005 Country Club Dr.,  Jackson,
28 years old
No drivers license, but he has 6 outstanding tickets (4 with Ridgeland PD, 2 with MHP).
In 2013, he was convicted of 4 counts of auto burglary, sentenced to 7 years, got 3 years suspended and 3 years probation.


Here is a picture of the deceased victim, Lonnie Blue, Jr.


Anonymous said...

All of those in the fleeing car should be charged with murder.

Anonymous said...

Kenny will now tell the middle class African-Americans in Clinton they just need to live with shoplifting, car theft, etc., or they're racist.

Anonymous said...

These misdemeanor offenses are committed many times by people with felony records and cops know that, that's why they chase them. This guy is just another on the long list of catch and release criminals victimizing our communities (to borrow Kingfish's terminology).

But lets remember an innocent man lost his life. Maybe not the time to debate Kenny Stokes right now.

Anonymous said...

What CPD policies justify putting innocent lives in danger because Walmart got shoplifted?

Anonymous said...

First--no one can bring back the innocent victim who was killed coming back from work. Stokes was right--there should be a 100 million dollar lawsuit--but not against the city of Clinton, but the thugs who stole and were driving recklessly through the streets of Jackson.

Second--at very least the three thugs in the car should be charged with vehicular manslaughter. They killed an innocent person--not the police. (Even if the police car does kill someone--it's STILL the fault of those who ran from the police.)

Third--do you think there will be protests in Clinton against CPD led by Stokes?

Fourth--it really seems like Lee Vance is blaming Clinton PD.

Anonymous said...

@11:56 AM

Wow, just wow. I wonder, are you willing to lose a loved one just to say that your police and community are "tough on crime", so much so that they will even allow for your loved one to be killed over a stolen laptop or tablet? Are these items or property worth the lives of your loved ones?

It is easy to sit up and say haughtily that "we don't tolerate theft, shoplifting, car jacking, home burglary like they do in 'Jackistan'" when pursuing these criminals doesn't put your life or you loved one's life in danger. Being tough on crime involves crime prevention, not just the pursuit of criminals. Punishment, harsh punishment, is no deterrent for criminals who perceive they have no other options in life. If you really want to be tough on crime, you should support investments in public education, safe housing, healthy diets, and better job training for those more vulnerable populations, not celebrating their pursuit and capture after they may have committed crimes.

Anonymous said...

"In 2013, he was convicted of 4 counts of auto burglary, sentenced to 7 years, got 3 years suspended and 3 years probation."

So by my count, if he actually had to serve the 7 years, he would still be in jail and therefore would not be robbing stores or fleeing the police.

Clearly this is law enforcement's fault...

Anonymous said...

12:46, not law enforcement, as they enforced the law and arrested and imprisoned. It is the judicial system.

Anonymous said...

12:38, it was the shop lifter that chose to put other people in danger when they stole and when they decided to run from the cops? What kind of morals do you have? Sounds like none at all.

Anonymous said...

These pursuits are born out of the residential segregation that characterizes the concentrated poverty and attendant issues that plague Jackson Proper. "Tough on Crime" is really dog whistle speak for "use the police to keep out undesirables and make an example out of anyone who thinks they can come in our community when they don't belong". How many times do I or anyone else have to be pulled over in Madison, Clinton, or Brandon because I "fit the description" or for other nefarious reasons?

Using the police for as the heavy is not new or even effective in preventing crime. It is just a vestige of the same old "Jim Crow" thinking that holds Mississippi back from truly addressing its challenges and elevating the quality of life for everyone.

Communities encouraging the police to endanger the lives of innocent people in order to project a "tough on crime" image are foolish and will only make the community liable in lawsuit after lawsuit. I hope the people in Clinton will think that stolen tablet was worth it when their property taxes go up to pay the wrongful death settlement they will have to give this poor man's family. SMH!!!

Anonymous said...

12:44--how did law enforcement kill the innocent victim? As the story reads, the car who hit him were the alleged felons. Therefore, had they stopped their car when directed to by police, this would have never happened.

Furthermore, there's no guarantee that they would not have killed someone anyway as they were driving in Jackson.

But the facts remain--the criminals killed the victim. NOT the police.

Anonymous said...


I wonder if that is how the civil courts will see this when the wrongful death case is brought. Yeah, I wonder why, then, do police departments have policies dealing with pursuits if the only entities liable for the dangers they pose on communities are the alleged criminals who flee?

It is also amazing how people pit morals and logic against each other. Just because I make a logical argument, somehow I have no morals? Who said that thinking somehow equates to immorality? Possibly the same people who think innocent people should or could die over a stolen a tablet. And I am the one who is immoral?

Anonymous said...

@ 1:04,
Again, no civil court would look at the facts in this case and not determine that the CPD had no liability in this accident. You can make the argument that the suspects fleeing actually hit the victim's car. But you cannot divorce the fact that the pursuit was started when the police decided to chase these suspects, a decision that was not necessary to adequately address the alleged crimes committed. You can believe what you ant to believe, but the facts in this case reveal a different reality, and portend a different legal ruling than what you are proposing.

Anonymous said...

1:09--you need to go back to school and learn logical thought.

1-why did the people steal from Walmart?
2-why didn't the people that stole from Walmart stop when the police indicated for them to stop?
3-why did the people that stole from Walmart's car cross the lane and kill an innocent person?

civil case against clinton and clinton PD will go nowhere...

Anonymous said...

1:15. good thing we live in Mississippi and the United States. As stated by the Clinton Police Dept, the chase was being called off. Therefore, the sole responsibility for the accident is, and will be upheld as, the sole responsibility of the driver of the fleeing car. Period. Nothing else will matter after the chase was called off.

I'd really, really hate to live in your world where criminals are held in high esteem and police vilified.

Anonymous said...

Was trying to catch this petty thief worth the loss of someone else's life? What if it was your spouse, Mom, son or daughter? Well, at least Wal-Mart would gets its color TV back.

Anonymous said...

Kenneth Stokes is on the case! No wonder businesses are leaving Jackson and none are coming. Keep voting Kenny Stokes in and it will be just like Detroit. dilapidated buildings everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Let me help you, internet lawyers. One, City of Clinton, like most municipalities, inevitably has liability insurance from a certain insurance company that specializes in the same. Like any other liability insurance, it pays for the lawyers. So the City being bankrupted by legal fees or whatever other nonsense comments I've seen is not based in reality. Two, said policy will pay, not Clinton. Three, there's a statute nicknamed the Mississippi Tort Claims Act (MTCA) that makes it nearly prohibitively hard to win lawsuits against municipalities, even in situations such as these. Most of the Ct. App. and MSSC cases dealing with pursuits involved cruisers striking someone or another vehicle, not the perp doing so. Interesting to see what happens if there isn't a quick settlement.

Anonymous said...


Do us all a favor and stay in Jackson, where you belong. We don't want you in our neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:01,

I live in MS and the US and I can tell you, if you think insurance companies pay claims out of the kindness of their hearts and not find some way to recoup (either through a raising of premiums or just canceling the policy altogether), I wonder where do you live?

Even if the pursuit "was being called off", those suspects weren't racing through West Jackson just for kicks. Even tort reform allows for settlements and such. Not enough to bankrupt a city, but definitely enough to get the insurance companies a little perturbed and apt to want to renegotiate premiums, if they have to settle. And where do you think those costs are going to come from, the tax fairy?

Lashanda Greene said...

@11:56 Why would I invest in Jackson? Where is the benefit?

JPS's Fault.

Jackson invests in it's schools so much so they have the most per pupil investment out of many high end communities in the state and what are the results? Lowest test scores in the state. A superintendent creating his own grading system. Fraud. Cheating on tests. and a sense of hopelessness that leads my youngins to believe the only way out is "the rap game" or "sports". Just yesterday I read of (2) 19 year olds that ended their lives by committing vicious felonies because there was no other alternative to carrying a gun and hustling on the street.

The Court's fault

I have read many things about crime in Jackson and I tell you in most cases the punishment does not come close to the crime. This individual had committed felonies before and was only sentenced to 7 years. The same crime committed in Rankin or Madison would have landed him in jail for 35 years. This person if incarcerated for the proper amount of time would never had the opportunity to run or end up killing an innocent person.


At what point was this felon a total loss? Where were the opportunities to help?

Prison's Fault

Is our corrections system working? There again a big problem... We all have seen the corruption and white collar crime that has broken both the Jackson jail as well as the MS prison system. Both times in jail and prison could have been opportunities to fix this person but the corruption stopped all hope of that.

Blame the choices.

There is plenty of blame to go around in the community but at some point where is the person to tell this man you have a choice? Right or Wrong there is some responsibility on the choices you made when you woke up. I chose to put on this shirt, I chose to get in a car, I chose to victimize someone, I chose to run, I chose to keep running, I chose not to stop running, I chose until the choice was taken away and I killed someone accidentally in a traffic collision.

That is all.

Anonymous said...

Which is worse, the low life scum who would rather steal from other people than work or the low life scum who will defend the thieves?

Anonymous said...

All you who think the Clinton Police Department is clearly justified anytime they "follow state law" and pursue shoplifters and jaywalkers into Jackson at any speed need to watch the Clinton PD's efforts to prove they called off the chase. They know the possible liability and they will try to cover their asses. One of these days the Clinton PD, Madison PD, Brandon PD etc. is going to kill the wrong white person in a high speed pursuit and the whole world is going to cave in on them. Wait and See.

Anonymous said...

@2:25 I don't think you really understood my post all that well, as I pretty clearly laid out significant barriers to recovery. Perhaps I have experience in the area, who knows...

Anonymous said...

Cities have lost these lawsuits before. Jackson has lost one or more before. The insurance company may pay it, but they turn around and charge the cities more premium. We all pay.

Anonymous said...

All of us anonymous posters are experts. Didn't yall know?

Anonymous said...

3:21. You want to know how to fix these problems? How about African-American church leaders speak out against crime. How about the leaders of the city of Jackson speak out against crime. How about community activists in Jackson speak out against crime? Speak out against all the black-on-black killings. Speak out against gangs and drugs. All those hipsters in Fondren can talk about it--but nothing will change until the African-American leadership takes a stand. What about mentoring fatherless boys to stop the cycle? How about a real discussion of the problems within JPS? None of this will ever change until the Black community in Jackson takes a stand. Perhaps that's why Clinton is 35 percent African-American (and most of those are middle to upper class.) I guarantee the African-American community in Clinton stands with the CPD. Guarantee it.

Anonymous said...

Just fyi:

§ 97-9-72. Fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle; felonies; sanctions; defenses

(1) The driver of a motor vehicle who is given a visible or audible signal by a law enforcement officer by hand, voice, emergency light or siren directing the driver to bring his motor vehicle to a stop when such signal is given by a law enforcement officer acting in the lawful performance of duty who has a reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver in question has committed a crime, and who willfully fails to obey such direction shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00) or imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed six (6) months, or both.

(2) Any person who is guilty of violating subsection (1) of this section by operating a motor vehicle in such a manner as to indicate a reckless or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property, or who so operates a motor vehicle in a manner manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($ 5,000.00), or by commitment to the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections for not more than five (5) years, or both.

(3) Any person who is guilty of violating subsection (1) of this section, which violation results in serious bodily injury of another, upon conviction shall be committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than three (3) nor more than twenty (20) years of imprisonment.

(4) Any person who is guilty of violating subsection (1) of this section, which violation results in the death of another, upon conviction shall be committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than five (5) nor more than forty (40) years.

(5) It is a defense to prosecution under this section:

(a) That the law enforcement officer was not in uniform or that no law enforcement vehicle used in the attempted stop was clearly marked as a law enforcement vehicle; or
(b) That the driver proceeded in a safe manner to a reasonably near well-lit public place before stopping.
Cite as Miss. Code § 97-9-72

Anonymous said...

1st & foremost, a tragic loss of an innocent man's life. Obviously, a complicated issue with no clear, easy solution. Its hard to draw a bright line rule for when police should & should not chase, and to what extent. Felony? If the theft is over a certain $$, its a felony by the way. Immediate assessment of that is illogical & impractical. Violent crime? What level of violent crime? Bank robbery? What if they just used a note & said they had a gun? Have to brandish it? Threaten with it? Importantly, what are the consequences of a bright line rule against chases for all but, say violent felonies, and criminals know that? Flee recklessly and you're free. Crime subject to the ban would be unstoppable and such a ban would undoubtedly foster a criminal atmosphere that bred more serious criminal activity. In situations such as this, officers are put in a difficult situation, forced to make split second decisions that wont always be perfect. But, the blame primarily rests with the criminal indifferent to others lives, not the cops doing their best in a tough situation. Someone willing to drive so unbelievably recklessly from police almost certainly has more motivation than a minor shoplifting charge. Would any normal person flee into oncoming traffic for a speeding ticket or small misdemeanor? No. The facts still are not all out there, but this does not appear to be one where the cops were at fault. Sometimes they are. Not here.

Anonymous said...

This wasn't the first time the low life broke the law. It wasn't the first time he got caught. Jackson let the man out of jail. If Jackson would have done their job the scum would not be on the street.
Jackson has only itself to blame. Try using a few of those rock, bricks, and bottles on the low life scum in Jackson, even if they are elected officials.

1962guy said...

Bad deal.

But, the police did the correct thing. We can't allow criminals to become more empowered just because they are fleeing either on foot, or in a vehicle.

Personally, I feel the police should have unlimited power to stop any chase. Why? Had this thief been stopped even a few seconds before the collision, an innocent citizen would still be alive. That's why.

Anonymous said...

There is no room for smug moral absolutes here.

If police chase a suspect, the danger to bystanders in that particular instance increases.

If police don't chase a suspect or give up quickly, the danger to bystanders in the future increases because criminals know they need only accelerate to 80 mph and weave all over the road to escape capture.

So unless you have empirical data on what type of pursuit policy actually results in the fewest civilian injuries, while still deterring crime, you have no basis to evaluate the morality of CPD's actions.

Anonymous said...

5:20. just pray you never need the police to come to your house if someone comes in and threatens murder or rape. you will be debating the morality of the speed of the police arriving at your home

as for me, a few shots followed by a few shots.

the thug caused an innocent person to die. thugs kill innocent people in jackson on a seemingly daily basis. the only difference is that he used a car and not a gun

Anonymous said...

How many innocent people have to die before all parties come together, put their ego's aside, and at least impove the current policies and the way they are implemented? Should we start a count?

Anonymous said...

If the elected officials of Jackson and the law enforcement officers would keep advising the criminals they would be protected if they can make it to the Jackson city limits maybe we would not see as many deaths.
How about we put the blame where it should be, not on those law enforcement officers who are doing their job.
Put the blame on those who are not doing their job of locking up criminals when they are caught. Put the blame on those who advertise the fact that the criminals will be protected if they cross the Jackson city limits.
If I had a friend or family member killed by criminals I would blame those who protected the criminals.

Anonymous said...

All over the country police departments are implementing or revising their chase policies. The position of Jackson Police is not unique or any more soft on crime than most major or mid major cities in this country. The big difference here and the elephant in the room is the racial makeup of the people involved. If some white kid in Madison gets run over during a high speed chase you think there won't be a call for a "review" of the policy. Tell the truth.

Anonymous said...

3:21 You obviously have no idea what you are talking about because those same groups you say aren't speaking out ARE speaking out, and often. Do you know how many "Stop The Violence" rallies, meetings, prayer sessions, etc are had? Or are you just typing something that you have no idea about, but it sounds good? You can't tell a community how to fix something, when you don't have a idea about it yourself.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who think Clinton PD has no liability, Jamie Fowler Boyll and Eric and Kristina Law might beg to differ. The issue of "terminating pursuit" is pretty well covered in both of those cases.

Anonymous said...

What if the perps had ran one of these newly proposed toll road money collection areas? I'm sure Mr. Stokes could include in said proposal that concrete barriers could "pop" up to stop the outside law enforcement while letting the nice, good, going to college, always been a nice boy, citizens of Jackson into the city? Maybe they make lasers for that.... (please realize this is in sarcasm, I back my blue)

Anonymous said...

12:44 PM - "...you should support investments in public education, safe housing, healthy diets, and better job training for those more vulnerable populations, not celebrating their pursuit and capture after they may have committed crimes."

We, the law abiding should do what for these miscreants???

!:02 PM "..."use the police to keep out undesirables and make an example out of anyone who thinks they can come in our community when they don't belong".

If these roaches of society, along with yourself, weren't actually breaking the law, you wouldn't be chased outta town. Police don't "make examples" of people who are respectful and law abiding.

Anonymous said...

Just shoot the the (literal) SOB! Nobody wants to stop the cycle.

Anonymous said...

6:23 - Unfortunately, it ended up that Eric Law didn't know a thing about "terminating pursuit". Ironic.

Anonymous said...

6:19 - You are kidding, right?

Rallies... meetings... (respectful) prayer sessions? Yup, these have really gotten the attention of these bad guys and have made them straighten up. Until there are dads in the house whipping butts and doing a standup job to their kids, this will continue. The preachers, mamas, and aunties getting together and weeping aint gonna do it.

Anonymous said...

My sympathy extends to Mr. Blue's friends and family. He is an unwilling victim in the war against thuggery.

That being said, the streets and stores in Clinton are indeed safer in that thugs will think twice before committing a crime in Clinton for a while. They know the police will pursue them.

Anonymous said...

3:21. Ding, ding,ding. You win a prize. You nailed it.

Anonymous said...

How many innocent people have to die before all parties come together, put their ego's aside, and at least impove the current policies and the way they are implemented? Should we start a count?

How many innocent people have to die at the hands of thug murderers in Jackson before Jackson comes together, puts it collective ego aside, and stops the out-of-control black-on-black crime? Should we start a count?

Anonymous said...

Maybe MHP should take over cases that occur on highways and interstates.

Anonymous said...

today in jackson. thugs kill black man. is this really news anymore? it happens seemingly
every day

exjxnres said...

Let's put the real blame where it belongs. Don't take things that don't belong to you. Problem Solved. The Criminals caused this entire fiasco, not the Police, not Walmart, not the Public as a whole.

Anonymous said...

It is simple. There are professional guidelines used by most police departments determining when it is and isn't appropriate to chase and when chases should be suspended. They are based of facts and common sense and assessment of conditions that result in high risk.

This isn't about who's most at fault. It's about appropriate standards for law enforcement.

Law enforcement assumes risks with the job. They are given more power than an ordinary citizen . And, that is WHY they must also be held to a higher standard.

The officers engaging in the chase also have their lives at risk and that is one of the ways police die " in the line of duty".

This is not a " choose up sides" issue. It's about what limits should be placed on police when the lives of innocent citizens are at risk and to reduce risk to themselves.

What the " it's the bad guys fault" crowd are actually arguing is that the risk of death of an innocent civilian or an officer to make an arrest is always acceptable. How is that moral? How many lives are you will to risk? In a bank robbery or hostage situation, should police just storm the building ? If they do, it's guaranteed they'll get the bad guys.

You don't think that is what you are arguing but the problem is you keep reacting without thinking.

And, when it comes to " morality", some of you have forgotten that " two wrongs do not make a right" and that not all " sins" are the same.

Anonymous said...

The risk of the chase far outweighed the crime. Therefore the chase should not have ensued. If the criminal had murdered someone, committed a crime that caused bodily harm, or even arm robbed someone, a risk of chasing the suspect could have possibly been justified. But, on a basic shoplifting case, you shouldn't jeopardize the lives of innocent individuals, law enforcement personnel, or even the criminal. The penalty for the crime is not death, the criminal did not kill anyone, but the officers have chosen to enter death into the equation when they chose to chase this moron through the metro area. I think this was a very bad decision by the PD.

On a different note, STOKES is an idiot. Everything that he has done and said has enabled this type of thing to happen. By publically voicing his REALLY DUMB opinion, he has given criminals the notion that Jackson is a safe haven for them to flee when they have committed crimes in surrounding areas. I think his hands have blood on them as well.

Anonymous said...

you either sympathize with the thugs. might as well call it 'pay if you want mart'. if you don't think the thugs are 100 percent at fault, you are part of the problem. it's a felony to run from the law. they were chasing felons

or you sympathize with the family of the innocent victim, who was crashed into by felons on the run, and the police who are doing their jobs.

pretty clear to me. you can't blame the police and have sympathy for the family of the innocent one--it means you side with thugs

Anonymous said...

Some Jackson thugs decided a lap top was worth more than the life of a man. Sad. Some Jackson residents have decided that the criminals deserved a safe place to run to after committing a crime. That is really sad.
A man had to die. For what? So some thugs could get a few dollars without having to work for it. The thugs swapped tags and possibly stole a car, they went to a business and stole from it, they were caught and decided to run from law enforcement, during their attempt to escape they drove into the other lane hitting another car and killing the person inside. Now the excuse for law enforcement in Jackson, the elected thugs and the people want the cops to pay. Now that is really sad.

Anonymous said...

I will go along with the theory of investing more on education and public programs but only after a purge and cleansing of a couple of generations of thugs that can't be helped.

Anonymous said...

Why spend more on education and public programs? The thugs in Jackson do not even use what is given to them now. Education is too much like work. They actually have to show up and make an effort. Much easier to just take what they want from those who do already pay for education and public programs.

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