A rose to District Attorney Scott Colom, whose quick actions were just and may have helped diffuse potential unrest in Columbus. Informed late Thursday afternoon that Attorney General Lynn Fitch had dropped charges against former Columbus police officer Canyon Boykin in the 2015 shooting death of Ricky Ball, Colom called a press conference Friday morning to express his disappointment in the decision and assure citizens of his efforts to make sure citizens are provided information on the decision. Many will remember that five years ago city officials did not address the shooting until three days after the incident, a vacuum of silence which sparked protests in the city among frustrated and angry citizens who demanded information. Colom’s press conference didn’t provide answers, but did much to assure residents that he’s committed to getting those answers.
A rose to the Columbus Police Department for its efforts to legitimize the city’s shelter-in-place and curfew orders through enforcement to an extent not seen in other communities. The curfews in most of The Golden Triangle have ended and data on the citations indicates that the CPD was far more vigorous in enforcing the rules, especially the curfew. The city issued 134 citations – most of them for curfew violations – almost as many as Lowndes County, Oktibbeha County, Starkville, West Point and Clay County combined. We don’t celebrate people being cited, but we do commend the CPD for paying more than lip service to the precautions implemented to protect public health during COVID-19. The virus is serious, but restrictions without accountability are meaningless. The data suggests the CPD took its responsibility seriously.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.
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