Protestors picket at Adams County Sheriff’s OfficePublished 12:11am Tuesday, June 11, 2013
NATCHEZ — With chants of, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, police brutality has got to go,” a picket line of protestors marched in front of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office Monday afternoon.
The approximately two-dozen marchers were a mix of locals and out-of-towners associated with the National Action Network. Organizers said the demonstration was to protest last week’s Tazing of Debra Faye Pernell-Simmons, 55, of Farmington Hills, Mich.
Pernell-Simmons was protesting in front of the Adams County Courthouse in support of Natchez resident Glennese Scott, who said she had a miscarriage in 2003 after being mistreated while in the Adams County Jail.
Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said at the time that the protesters were picketing in a way that blocked access to the courthouse — prohibited by state law — and when deputies told the picketers to move from the sidewalk, Pernell-Simmons confronted the lawmen by yelling on a bullhorn.
When deputies tried to arrest her, Pernell-Simmons allegedly resisted arrest, and deputies Tazed her, the sheriff said at the time.
Monday, the Rev. Charles Williams II, NAN’s national organizer, said he had been in the area since the weekend and had interviewed several people about the matter and that he was calling for a federal investigation and for the state attorney general to get involved.
The group will also protest in Jackson to bring attention to the matter, Williams said.
“I think it is absolutely ludicrous and an excessive use of force,” he said.
Monday’s protest lasted approximately a half hour.
After the picket was over, Mayfield said it did not interfere with sheriff’s office business.
He said the group had a permit with the city for the demonstration.
“If they want to do that, that is their business,” he said. “I support their right to do that.”