Sunday, Feb. 24, 2002
The faceless cop
To the editor:
For the past few months, many of you have read articles about a Meridian cop, Officer Rita Jack, and her alleged involvement in the theft of money from the Meridian Police Department. To many of you, Rita Jack is a faceless cop, but not me. She is my sister.
The day Chief Benny DuBose, who was acting chief at the time, decided to terminate Rita based on the finger-pointing of another accused employee as described in The Meridian Star on Dec. 16, 2001, was the day Meridian lost a good and honest cop. I say this not because Rita is my sister but because I know personally the sacrifice she made to become a police officer and how dedicated she was to the badge.
When Rita first announced she was interested in taking the Civil Service examination to become a police officer, my first thought was she can't be serious. But she proved me and others to be wrong. She passed the written exam as well as the physical requirement to enter the academy. As a mother, the hardest test was leaving her young children in the care of her husband for several weeks while in training only to come home on weekends to study for an exam for the upcoming week. Each week of training was more physically exhausting than the week before. However, Rita was determined to become a cop.
On March 12, 1999, class of 99-1, Rita graduated from the police academy. From the first day Rita took the oath of office, she has been dedicated to the badge. Rita took her job as a cop very serious. I saw Rita change from being Rita, the sister, to Rita, the cop. She once told me that a cop is on duty 24 hours a day. You're to uphold the law regardless of whether or not you're in uniform. She proudly wore her badge knowing what it represented, "Justice for All." She truly believed in the justice system and protecting the rights of others. It is sad to know that a cop who put her life on the line every day seeking justice for others did not find justice in the department she represented.
A civilian employee who was initially implicated in the theft at the MPD accused Rita. Unlike Rita, whose case was presented before the grand jury, no charges will be brought against the civilian employee by the Meridian Police Department, as also described in The Meridian Star on Dec. 16, 2001.
Rita continues to hold her head up high during this ordeal mainly because of her innocence in the matter. She has also had the support of her family and a few good people in Meridian who continue to believe in her.
Too slow for Meridian
To the editor:
Being new to the area, I am concerned with all the speeders on the roads. Am I to believe that there is no enforcement of speed limits. I have yet to see an officer pulling over these people who seem to be exempt from the law. Whether I'm driving major roads or through town, I am being left in the proverbial dust.
For example: On Monday, Feb. 18, I was driving past the Lamar School when a young woman driving a silver Alero pulled out from the parking lot without stopping. Was it necessary to be one car length in front, since there was no one behind me. Or was she just trying to keep up with the young man who pulled out before her. I know if my daughter was seen driving irresponsibly I would want to be informed.
I have also noticed that all fire lanes/no parking zones in front of all stores are also used for PARKING. Think of all the revenue this city could collect with these infractions.
Writer questions judiciary role in redistricting
To the editor:
I doubt my comments regarding congressional redistricting will be well received by either party involved, to include my party of choice. I have patiently waited for the legal scholars (judges and lawyers) to correctly apply the law, thereby putting an end to both the state and federal courts being used as political prostitutes.
In short, Mississippi law is clear on this issue. However, a bigger picture must be shown. First, neither court has constitutional authority to decide this issue. The state court has usurped the powers of the Legislature, which is clearly responsible for apportionment under both the Mississippi Constitution and law. The federal court is stepping outside its U.S. Constitution Article III powers and attempts to usurp the powers of the Mississippi Legislature. Both Courts appear to be violating the separation of powers under the U.S. and Mississippi Constitutions.
Second, Mississippi law is clear what should happen. The Mississippi Code Annotated 23-15-1039 states:
As shown, until the Mississippi Legislature does its job, congressional representatives are to be chosen from the state at large, since we lost (diminished) by one.
One has to wonder why legal scholars refuse to acknowledge this. The apparent legal leader of the Democratic plan, attorney Rob McDuff, is well known in both the federal and state courts of Mississippi on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union, filing lawsuits for homosexual rights and religious attacks. The apparent legal leader of the Republican plan, attorney Grant Fox, attempts to use the federal courts to collaterally attack an unconstitutional Chancery Court order, which is not valid and of no effect as it is violative of both the U.S. and Mississippi Constitutions.
It is time for Gov. Ronnie Musgrove to be prepared to proceed under Article 13 Section 254 of the Mississippi Constitution, should the Legislature not approve reapportionment during this session. All of these officials have sworn oaths to support the U.S. and Mississippi Constitutions and the laws thereof, yet are apparently at war with them.