A Mississippi police officer who was previously panned for a series of racist social media posts has been suspended for the fatal shooting of an African-American man.
Law & Crime reports Jared Booth was placed on administrative earlier this month following the fatal shooting of Raymond Davis. The incident happened Nov. 4 when Booth answered a dispatch about an incident outside of a lounge in Columbus. Booth was wearing a body cam when he came in contact with Davis.
Chairman of the Columbus Police Oversight Committee Dr. Steven L. James, recalled the footage he saw to reporters.
“He walked up to the people who were tussling over the gun, he was asking them to get down,” James about Booth to the Clarion Ledger. “The officer continued to shout get on the ground, but they never did that, they never complied to what the officer said. The gentlemen who got shot, he turned around with the gun in his hand.”
Booth found support in Columbus Mayor Robert Smith, who released a statement claiming the victim was armed.
“Officer Booth did activate his camera at the time he received the call of a disturbance at the Premier Lounge,” he told reporters. “The entire incident was captured on body camera. It is early in the investigation and I am not allowed to go through the entire incident at this time. But I will say the video shows Raymond Davis with a gun in his hand at the time of the shooting.”
However, Booth’s past has come into question. In June, Booth was suspended for 28 days for violating the department’s social media policy. Three Facebook posts were brought to light, with one featuring racial slurs connected to the n-word and the second, a photo of a sex toy related to oral sex. Booth tagged a female CPD officer in the post. The third post was directed towards former police officer Canyon Boykin and included homophobic comments.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is currently handling the incident. This is the second fatal shooting by a Columbus police officer in two years.
The first shooting was ironically by Boykin, who killed a man named Ricky Bell after a foot chase. Boykin was suspended charged with manslaughter and later, terminated. Boykin wasn’t fired for the shooting, but for a series of social media posts offensive to African-Americans, disabled people and women. He later sued the department for wrongful termination, which (again) ironically lead to the suspension of Booth.
“… Another police officer for the City of Columbus, Jared Booth, has used (a derivative of the n-word) on his social media, and Booth is still employed by the city,” the May court filing states. “The fact is the social media posts, like the other two reasons given for Boykin’s suspension, are clearly pre-textual.”