Welp, it looks like there might be an attorney general who’s even worse about bringing justice for Black victims killed by police violence than Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron.
Meet Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch (and yes, if you squeeze her names together, you get “lynch”).
Fitch is asking an appeals court to set free former Jackson detective Anthony Fox, who, in 2019, was convicted of culpable negligence manslaughter for beating to death 62-year-old George Robinson, who was forcibly pulled from his car by Fox, who then struck him in his head and chest, according to the Associated Press.
Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart ruled Robinson’s death a homicide by blunt-force trauma. Circuit Judge Adrienne Wooten sentenced Fox, 38, to serve only five years of a 20-year sentence with the other 15 years suspended, but even that light sentence for beating an elderly man to death wasn’t enough leniency for Fitch, apparently. Instead, Fitch wants the entire conviction overturned.
In papers filed Monday with the appeals court, Fitch argued that prosecutors failed to prove the core element of culpable negligence manslaughter, which is “wanton disregard of, or utter indifference to, the safety of human life.”
Robinson received “a small, superficial abrasion on his forehead” but had no other visible injuries from the struggle, Fitch wrote. Robinson, who had health problems and was on medication, had a seizure hours later and died two days after that from bleeding in his brain.
So, basically, Fitch appears to be arguing that just because Robinson died after being beaten doesn’t mean he was beaten to death. Fitch, who, by the way, is not a medical examiner, has decided that the wound Fox, who is also Black, left on Robinson’s head is “superficial” and had nothing to do with the, again, 62-year-old bleeding in his brain.
Or maybe she just doesn’t think Black lives matter enough to throw brutal cops in prison for any amount of time.
In fact, Fitch going out of her way to free an ex-police officer convicted of causing a civilian’s death is so baffling even the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office is essentially wondering—”Lady, what the hell?”
“It is the Attorney General’s job to defend this verdict,” the DA’s office said in a statement. “If the Court of Appeals wishes to overturn the verdict, that is their job, not hers.”
More from AP:
The Hinds County District Attorney’s Office said it could find no other case in which the attorney general, who represents the state in criminal appeals, took such a position. The statement also says several law enforcement agencies issued prepared statements within minutes of Fitch filing the brief on Monday, indicating the statements “could only have been coordinated at the request of the Attorney General.”
“The Attorney General’s job is to make the best possible argument for the State of Mississippi,” the district attorney’s office wrote. “It is a critical part of the adversarial process. It is not her job to assist or represent the interests of a criminal defendant convicted by a jury of his peers.”
Of course, if you look a little deeper into who Fitch is, it isn’t terribly surprising that she has a “free my copper” attitude when it comes to police violence, particularly against Black people. According to the Mississippi Free Press, earlier this month, Fitch was accused of ignoring activists who are calling for charges to be filed against six police officers who were fired after being accused of beating and torturing two Black men, Michael Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker.
Suffice it to say, it probably wasn’t with much of a heavy heart that Fitch’s office announced last year that it wouldn’t be prosecuting Carolyn Bryant Donham after a decades-old unserved warrant was discovered and a leaked memoir revealed the lies she told that caused the horrifically violent death of Emmett Till.
It’s also worth mentioning that Fitch appears to be an anti-LGBTQ bigot whose office threatened Target for committing the egregious crime of—*checks notes*—selling Pride merch during Pride Month.
Fitch and six other Republican attorneys general claimed in a July 5 letter to Target Corporation CEO and Chairman Brian C. Cornell that Target “wittingly marketed and sold LGBTQIA+ promotional products to families and young children as part of a comprehensive effort to promote gender and sexual identity among children.” (Whaaaah? Target promoted products during Pride Month that might inspire acceptance and even the celebration of the queer community? The horror!)
The letter also claimed Target sold “anti-Christian designs, such as pentagrams, horned skulls, and other Satanic products” associated with Pride, which, of course, is factually untrue. The AG’s office also expressed concern over Target donating to GLSEN, “an organization that promotes safe learning environments for LBGTQ+ students,” according to the Free Press. Fitch’s office claimed the organization supports “secret gender transitions for kids,” which, of course, it does not.
Anyway, hopefully, the court will reject Fitch’s request and keep Fox behind bars where he belongs.
Also, no more bigoted, pro-police brutality conservatives in law enforcement, please. There can be no “justice for all” otherwise.
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