FBI agents raid the office and business of a Mississippi prosecutor, but the reason remains undisclosed

The FBI conducted a raid on a local prosecutor’s office and business in Jackson, Mississippi on Wednesday. However, officials have not disclosed whether Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens is under suspicion for any wrongdoing.

FBI agents thoroughly searched a downtown cigar bar owned by Owens in Jackson, dedicating several hours to the task. Additionally, they seized various items from his office at the Hinds County Courthouse.

According to Marshay Lawson, the spokesperson for the FBI’s office in Jackson, the reason behind the search is still undisclosed.

“The FBI is currently carrying out federal search warrants at various locations,” Lawson revealed. “Due to the court’s decision to seal the affidavit supporting these search warrants, I am unable to provide any further comments on the matter.”

Additionally, Owens refrained from disclosing the purpose of the raid.

In a statement, the second-term district attorney acknowledged the visit of FBI agents to their offices earlier today. The district attorney assured that they are cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation. Despite the visit, the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office remains fully operational and committed to serving the citizens of Hinds County.

According to a report from WAPT-TV, as authorities continued their searches at Owens’ office and business, two FBI agents paid a visit to Jackson City Hall and had a conversation with the chief of staff for Mayor Chokwe Lumumba. It is worth noting that City Hall is conveniently located across the street from the Hinds County Courthouse, where Owens maintains his office.

Before his election as district attorney in 2019, Owens served as the lead attorney in Mississippi for the Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal-leaning organization renowned for initiating lawsuits pertaining to civil rights. During his campaign, Owens positioned himself as a proponent of criminal justice reform, emphasizing his commitment to prosecuting violent crimes while seeking alternative solutions to incarceration for nonviolent offenders.

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Jackson, however, faces a significant challenge in the form of the country’s highest murder rate. To address this issue, Republican lawmakers have provided Owens with additional funding to hire more prosecutors. Furthermore, under the leadership of Republican Governor Tate Reeves, the state-run Capitol Police has been expanded to cover the entire city of Jackson. Additionally, a state-run court with appointed judges has been established, replacing the previous system of elected judges.

Many Democrats argue that these actions signify a white takeover of a predominantly Black city and advocate for allocating additional resources towards crime prevention. Despite facing a legal challenge from the NAACP, the law was ultimately upheld in federal court, resulting in a temporary reduction of tensions surrounding the issue.

In 2022, the Capitol Police issued a citation to Owens for simple assault, which is considered a misdemeanor. According to the police, Owens allegedly pointed and aimed a gun at a man from Hattiesburg who was visiting a woman in a downtown Jackson apartment.

Owens maintained his innocence during that period.

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