'Voter Intimidation': Police Set Up Checkpoint Near HBCU Ahead Of Election

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The Mississippi NAACP is calling out Capitol police for setting up safety checkpoints near Jackson State University ahead of the state's general election, WAPT reports.

“Setting up roadblocks near precincts is a very suspicious form of voter intimidation,” NAACP Jackson President Nsombi Lambright said in a statement.

On Monday (November 6), Capitol police SUVs were spotted with blue, flashing lights on University Boulevard at Lynch Street as JSU students came and left campus.

“It was very alarming to us. It does raise a lot of questions about what the purpose of this checkpoint today was,” Lambright said.

Taylor said he believes the increased police presence is a form of voter intimidation as the JSU Student Center serves as a voting precinct.

“They were checking both license plates and licenses off individuals passing by right next to the largest voting precinct in the state of Mississippi, which is Jackson State University,” state NAACP Executive Director Charles Taylor said in a statement.

According to Lambright, JSU campus police weren't aware that Capitol police were setting up the checkpoint.

"The (JSU) Department of Public Safety has many agency partners that help us keep the campus community safe. While we can appreciate these efforts, we did not request the specific implementation of a checkpoint (Monday),” Chief Herman Horton, with the JSU Department of Public Safety, said in a statement. “As a result, we will continue to encourage collaboration and dialogue to ensure our actions are aligned and maintain the public’s trust and the integrity of our public safety department."

.A spokesperson for Secretary of State Michael Watson said the increased police presence was a response to the October shooting death of student Jaylen Burns.

"Any statements or allegations asserting that Capitol Police is attempting to suppress voters is false and without merit," Bailey Martin, with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, said. "On the night of the recent homicide that occurred on the Jackson State University campus, JSU Police Chief Herman Horton requested Capitol Police to have an increased presence near the campus. In response to their request, Capitol Police has increased their law enforcement efforts near the campus to help preserve the safety of the students and deter criminal activity."

"Capitol Police will continue to work to ensure the safety and protection of the students and faculty on and near the campus," she added.

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