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3 ex-Jackson police officers charged with homicide over death of Black man

May 25 (UPI) -- Three former Jackson police officers have been indicted for homicide over the New Year's Eve death of a 41-year-old Black man in their custody.

During a press conference Wednesday, Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens announced that a grand jury returned an indictment last week charging former officers Avery Willis and Kenya McCarty with second-degree murder and former officer James Land with manslaughter for the death of Keith Murriel.

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Murriel was killed Dec. 31 during what Jackson police initially said was an "medical emergency" at the Extended Stay hotel on Beasley Road in the Mississippi capital where the officers were called over a trespassing complaint.

Footage from police-worn body cameras of that night was released Wednesday showing officers tackle Murriel to the ground where he is tased multiple times. Attorneys have said in a lawsuit filed against the officers that their client was shocked 80 times.

Jackson Mayor Mayor Chokwe Antar called the footage "voluminous."

"We believe that we have seen actions, which are excessive, disheartening and tragic, and we believe that is not representative of the vision of public safety that not only this administration wants to put forward but that we believe that the men and women within the Jackson Police Department want to put forward," he said.

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"We want to build a vision of public safety, which is based in community love and also based on trust within our community, and these actions appear not to be consistent with those visions."

Acting police chief Joseph Wade asked the residents of their city during the press conference to continue to support his officers.

"We at JPD will continue to be transparent and we will continue to have accountability measures in place, not only from the bottom up, but the top down as we move forward," he pledged.

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