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U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst said there’s an epidemic of violence in Jackson, and police around the country are under attack.

JACKSON, Miss. (Ben Caxton) – In a tweet, Hurst referenced the city is on track for 122 murders for 2020. He said by comparison, the crime rate almost tripled to that of Chicago.

“Right now, police officers around the country, and I would say right here in the city of Jackson, are under attack or assault. It’s not just from individuals who want to commit crimes, it’s from some of our own politicians and others,” he stated.

Jackson native, James Kendrick, was caught in the gunfire Monday night. As of Thursday, the homicide count is at least 87 for the city.

“Like enough is enough. You know, I’m tired of seeing it,” said Kendrick.

Hurst said to get a handle on the rising crime rate, first and foremost. It starts with respecting and valuing police. The City of Jackson is lacking in manpower, said Hurst.

“The problem is, they’re completely undervalued. They’re understaffed, and they’re underpaid. And so what we need from the city is to really man up the police department.”

Hurst is calling for more funding for the police department, if neighbors want the violence to recede.

“It’s incredibly disheartening. I can tell you, having gone into these communities multiple times, having served in these communities in ministry, seeing some of the conditions of how the children are raised in, to actually have those kids experience violence at such a young age, is just unthinkable.”

Kendrick stated, “We definitely got to do more where people are going to want to come visit, to come bring their families.”

On Thursday, the Jackson City Council passed a new city budget that includes higher pay for officers, including a higher starting salary.

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