Not even 24 hours ago, a historic ending met an extraordinary trial. We received insight from a professor at the University of Southern Mississippi about her thoughts on the Ware vs. DuPree trial. Coincidently, the New York Times called the professor for comment during the middle of our interview. One of the first questions asked by the paper was race-based, but Bekafigo fired back.
Dr. Bekafigo argues that the citywide tension has nothing to do with race, gender, or political affiliation, but the irresponsibility of public officials.
"If you want to protest, if you want to riot, we should all go down to city hall, or go up to Jackson and tell our legislators that this process is broken here and that we need an intervention. The citizens have done all we can do at this point."
She addresses witness testimonies and allegations made before, during, and after the trial.
"The African Americans in this state have fought for the right to vote. I heard there's been intimidation in the voting booths and the juror box, and that's not something we want to go back to. We need to get past that," she said.
She reiterates that city officials should be held accountable for irresponsible mishaps that have affected every person in the City of Hattiesburg.
"What kills me is that there are so many ballots that were apparently thrown out, or weren't counted because of something the clerk did, not because of something a voter did," Bekafigo said.
"People say they're fed up with the corruption they've seen in Hattiesburg."
She says this is one of the most unusual election processes she has ever seen.
"The jurors only had 4, maybe 5 hours to deliberate. The judge should have told them to get their butts back in the jury box and try again," Bekafigo said.
The courthouse will fill up again with citizens this Friday as both teams hash it out and present new motions to Judge William Coleman.
The New York Times published their story late Wednesday evening. You can find that story at
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