VICKSBURG, Miss. (Vicksburg Daily News) – Commissioner of Public Safety Sean Tindell has directed the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to be more responsive to requests for public records.
DPS, which includes the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) has had a track record of denying video footage and other types of evidence when requested. However, that approach is now changing.
“As more and more of these incidents of officer-involved shootings are shared with the public in other parts of the country, I believe we need to be more transparent here in Mississippi as well,” stated Tindell to USA Today. “I’ve always been a big believer in transparency. I believe that if you … maintain a cloak of secrecy, then it lends itself to conspiracy theories and incorrect assumptions. I believe the public should have a right to view the footage and understand exactly what happened.”
MBI typically investigates fatal officer-involved shootings on the coast, however, a new rule which took effect on July 1 which now requires the MBI to investigate fatal officer-involved shootings across the state.
Tindell, while pushing for a more transparent agency, stated that information that is released will be handled on a case-by-case basis.