Filed Date: Feb. 23, 2022
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This is a case about the Jackson Police Department’s policy known as “ticket, arrest, and tow” (TAT), under which the police department installed a disproportionate number of vehicular roadblock checks in majority Black and low-income neighborhoods, justifying them as necessary for crime control.
On February 23, 2022, individuals who had encountered or were likely to encounter roadblocks established by the Jackson Police Department for purposes of general crime control filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiffs sued the city of Jackson, Mississippi under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the policy violated their Fourth Amendment rights. The case was assigned to Judge Kristi H. Johnson and Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker.
Represented by the Mississippi Center for Justice, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, class certification, and attorneys’ fees. The plaintiffs specifically sought a declaration that the defendant’s practices were unconstitutional, as well as an order enjoining the defendant from continuing to use the roadblocks and requiring them to establish a system of monitoring so that no further unconstitutional roadblocks were established.
The plaintiffs claimed that the police department violated their Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures by stopping citizens absent any reason to believe that they had committed a crime. The plaintiffs noted that the police department had publicly acknowledged that the reason for the roadblocks was to apprehend individuals that had already committed crimes. The plaintiffs asserted that the roadblocks caused delays for Jackson citizens, either because they had to stop or because they had to take a longer route in order to avoid the roadblocks. The plaintiffs also pointed to prior precedent in which the Supreme Court had determined that the types of stops employed in Jackson were unreasonable in support of their argument. Defendants were employing wholesale stops where every motorist was being stopped without the police having any reason to believe they had committed a crime. The Supreme Court said that these stops could not be justified just because of the "ever-present possibility that interrogation and inspection may reveal that any given motorist has committed some crime." City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32, 42 (2000). The plaintiffs also alleged a difference in treatment of motorists who were white and motorists who weren’t, claiming that drivers who were white were often waved through the roadblocks without needing to provide their license information whereas minority motorists were routinely stopped and would have to seek out alternative and longer routes in order to avoid the stops. Even when some white motorists were asked to provide their information, the plaintiffs asserted, the officers conducting the search did not take their licenses for inspection before waving them through.
On September 23, 2022, the parties announced that they had reached a settlement. On October 5, 2022 the court entered a consent decree and dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice. Under the consent decree, the defendants agreed to comply with a new checkpoint policy prohibiting checkpoints for the purpose of general crime control or deterrence, narcotics interdiction, or checking for outstanding warrants. The defendants also agreed to provide training on the new policy to personnel. Finally, the defendants agreed to provide data regarding the checkpoints to the plaintiffs on a quarterly basis. The consent decree was to remain in place for 4 years, unless the court were to find that defendants had not substantially complied, in which case the term could be extended. As of October 27, 2022, this case was ongoing.
Rhea Sharma (10/13/2022)
For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/63112678/parties/gibbs-v-city-of-jackson-mississippi/
Howard, Jacob W. (Mississippi)
Johnson, J. Cliff (Mississippi)
McDuff, Robert B. (Mississippi)
Gov, Claire Barker-City (Mississippi)
Martin, Drew McLemore (Mississippi)
See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/63112678/gibbs-v-city-of-jackson-mississippi/
Last updated July 19, 2023, 3:09 a.m.
State / Territory: Mississippi
Filing Date: Feb. 23, 2022
Case Ongoing: Yes
Individuals who have encountered or likely will encounter roadblocks established by the Jackson Police Department for purposes of general crime control.
Public Interest Lawyer: Yes
Filed Pro Se: No
Class Action Sought: Yes
Class Action Outcome: Mooted before ruling
Causes of Action:
Prevailing Party: Plaintiff
Nature of Relief:
Source of Relief:
Form of Settlement:
Order Duration: 2022 - 2026
Content of Injunction: