Police chief responds to weekend violence


Police Chief Ron Sampson released the following statement about the weekend violence in Yazoo City:

On Friday, October 18, 2019, Yazoo City High School held its Annual Homecoming Tailgate Event. Each year, this event has continued to grow with Graduating Classes as far back as 1970, returning home to reminisce over their days of old. Putting it simply, they came home to have a good time.

In attendance this year were two young Yazoo Alumni who traveled from Texas to be with friends and family and have a good time as well. Unfortunately, one of these two men will never go back where he made his home, and the other life will never be the same. On Saturday at 1:40 am, their lives, as well as the lives of their families, changed forever. While at a downtown night club, a fight broke out, and soon after, shots rang out. The outcome, both young men, had been struck by flying bullets. The consequence, one young man dead and the other in a hospital fighting for his life.

Clearly, all of this is completely inexcusable and unacceptable. An even more disturbing aspect of this is that as the Yazoo City Police Department began to investigate this incident, no one saw anything. The Club Owner was more worried I was going to close his establishment down and quickly informed me that the entire incident took place outside of the business. This was an attempt to remove himself and the business from any liability. The fight began inside the club.

As my Team and I responded to the Hospital to further investigate, we were directed to one individual who witnessed the entire incident. As we started a conversation with the person about the events that took place, we were told: "I ain't no snitch." This individual then began blaming the police for the events that had taken place.

The selfishness of many people in our community brings a certain level of disgust. If this person who stated, “I ain't no snitch” had a family member injured or killed, he/she would have quickly changed their description from snitch to cooperator or grieving relative. Having had a young nephew who was gunned down in his prime and my family not having closure in his death, I do honestly know how that pain feels. Every family deserves the What, the How, and the Why their loved one was taken from them, even when it makes no sense.

What this young person does not realize is that their inaction is part of the destruction of our community and its reputation, and such behavior deprives families of closure.

To the families who were affected by the incident on Saturday morning and other unsolved crimes in Yazoo City, please know that as I sit in the seat as your Chief of Police, YCPD will continue to pursue, investigate and seek to convict all persons responsible for the losses to your family. For those who have information that can bring closure to these families, please contact me directly.

The sad part, these two young men came to have a good time!!!

Citizens of Yazoo City, it is time to stop making excuses. I urge you to come forward to help stop this madness. Working together, we can make Yazoo City safe, have a great reputation, and positive branding.