What Does Justice For Ricky Ball Really Look Like?
As of yesterday, December 30, 2015, the people of Columbus, MS are once again paying the salaries of two of the cops involved in the death of Ricky Ball.
Yolanda Young and Johnny Branch, who may have killed Ricky Ball, are back working for the Columbus Police Department as of yesterday thanks to a recommendation by Interim Chief Fred Shelton and a majority vote of the city council.
It appears that the main problem for the city council is the fact that the policies for body camera violations from the police department were not strong enough and detailed enough in the eyes of some council members to justify the punishments handed down to Young and Branch collectively. The policy that existed at the time that Young and Branch were disciplined clearly states that one of the available punishments is termination, but a majority of the city council decided on the softer punishment of suspension in the beginning. After learning that Young, Branch and Canyon Boykin were appealing their punishments; it appears the city council started to backtrack on their original decision.
First of all, the city council should have considered the fact that one or more of these cops is responsible for the death of Ricky Ball...and they may have murdered Ricky. This is what the known facts of this case suggests even WITHOUT a completed MBI investigation. The 30 day suspension, instead of an indefinite suspension, was one of the first mistakes made by the Columbus city council concerning this case.
For all that we know, one of these cops or all of them could be murderers! Without a completed investigation from the MBI, no one can say for certain which one or more of these officers killed Ricky Ball! At a minimum, none of the people on the scene the night Ricky Ball was allowed to bleed to death should be working for our city because any of them could be murderers or accessories to murder. Until the MBI investigation is complete, no one who may have killed a Citizen of this city should be receiving a salary from this city. Period!!! It appears that a majority of our city "leaders" DO NOT, CANNOT or WILL NOT understand this fact!
If Yolanda Young and her gang want to say that no other officers have been punished like them, that argument is without merit and irrelevant due to the fact that there is no prior case for Boykin, Young and Branch to compare their punishments against. No other officers have been suspended or fired because they did not follow the body camera/audio recorder policy when a Citizen was possibly murdered by them. The case against Canyon Boykin, Yolanda Young and Johnny Branch is UNPRECEDENTED!!! There is no case like this at the Columbus Police Department (CPD) for them to rely on for precedent. Anyone vaguely familiar with the correct use of precedent, including the City Attorney for Columbus, ought to know that a case must be "on all fours" with an earlier case in order to use the earlier case as precedent. The case against Boykin, Young and Branch has never happened before in Columbus. Since the CPD started the use of body cameras and established recording policies, before Ricky Ball was killed, no other person had been killed in Columbus, MS by police officers without video or audio footage available because of policy violations from the officers involved. Our city attorney, mayor and city council members have to consider this fact if they intend to ensure real justice for Ricky Ball and to regain the trust of our community.
Also, the punishments for Yolanda Young and Johnny Branch should be separate and not be considered together. Although they were part of the same group, the SOG, Young and Branch did not have the same roles within the group. They each have different levels of culpability in this case. Branch did use his camera some of the times that were shown in the SOG video review, but Yolanda Young did not even wear her recording equipment, let alone turn it on. In addition to these facts, Yolanda Young was the supervisor of the SOG group, so she has a "leadership-role" level of guiltiness as well. A majority of our city "leaders" did not want to acknowledge these facts about Young in order to separate her case from Branch's case when it comes to disciplining the two of them.
When we consider the facts that Yolanda Young is more guilty for her recording equipment violations because of her supervisory role in the SOG gang along with the facts that she has repeatedly taunted one of Ricky Ball's relatives at the relative's job; there is no doubt that Yolanda Young does not have the qualifications to be a police officer in the city of Columbus, MS. ANYONE who supports Young staying on our police force is clearly exposing themselves as being incompetent when it comes to making leadership decisions. #iamrickyball #justiceforrickyball
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