MBI takes over investigations of all officer-involved shootings in the state

MISSISSIPPI — Mississippi’s new commissioner of public safety said the state Bureau of Investigation is changing its policy on investigations into officer-involved shootings.

The agency now investigates all officer-involved shootings in the state.

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FOX13 found out the MBI will now be more transparent about those investigations.

Commissioner Sean Tindell told us it is now agency policy calling for more body camera footage and documents from officer-involved shooting investigations to be released.

”Many times when you are not willing to have that transparency, it lends itself to assumptions about what occurred, allegations that are false, and it’s all because if you don’t open up at some point the investigation for scrutiny it will lend itself to conspiracy theories and falsehoods being spread about what did happen,” Tindell said.

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According to James Mathis with the Desoto County NAACP, he likes what he is hearing about the changes.

”I am very appreciative that the director has come out and said there is going to be some transparency in these fatal shootings.”

Mathis is also a former police officer. He said his only concern is evidence released too early could jeopardize cases.

Tindell said what is released to the public will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

”Part of what we are doing is trying to weigh the balance between transparency and also protecting the defendant’s right to a fair and impartial trial and giving a grand jury time to review the evidence without it being tried in a court of public opinion in advance,” Tindell said.

Tindell said this sort of transparency has worked to build trust in other jurisdictions across the country.