“The concern is that someone is posing as a law enforcement officer, and that is how these vehicles end up on the side of the road,” the director of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said earlier this week.
The MBI is warning drivers to be wary if an officer attempts to pull them over, and suggests two courses of action if a driver is suspicious about a traffic stop in Mississippi:
• Under Mississippi law, drivers can call 911 to verify that they are being pulled over by a legitimate police officer.
• Drivers can also put on their flashing hazard lights and drive to a well-lit area with lots of people around, before stopping for a police officer.
The first incident took place on May 8, along Interstate 55 in Panola County, Mississippi. A 74-year-old Nebraska man was killed. Then on Friday, May 11, a 48-year-old Mississippi woman was found shot and killed close to her car along Mississippi Highway 713 in nearby Tunica County. Both victims were found in the early-morning hours.
At this point, the fake police officer explanation is just one theory being floated by law enforcement, as there were no witnesses to the killings. Police and sheriff’s agencies are searching the area to find the suspect as officers say they have checked out hundreds of reports of suspicious cars. Agencies are even pulling officers from court cases. One local attorney noticed it and commented, “That doesn’t usually happen. They were asking for continuances on cases that weren’t pressing.”
If the alleged fake police officer is caught, the killer will face not only murder charges, but charges of impersonating a police officer, which is a misdemeanor in Mississippi, punishable by up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.
If you’ve been involved in something that requires the skill of an experienced Mississippi criminal defense lawyer, please call us today at (833) 536-5656 for a free consultation.
Source: “Law Officers Go To Extra Lengths To Catch Interstate Killer,” by Dennis Turner, published at WREG.com.