Judge Rules Charges Can be Pursued Against Hopkins

Meridian, Miss. A Lauderdale County circuit judge has ruled there is enough evidence to go forward with charges against former Meridian police officer, Don Hopkins.

Hopkins has been in an ongoing dispute with the city over his firing in 2013 after he shot at a fleeing suspect.

Judge Robert Bailey Thursday ruled that a simple assault charge could go forward against Hopkins. It's related to an arrest he made two years ago.

"Well with respect to the judge, I think he's wrong," said Ready. "The county prosecuting attorney failed to show any evidence of any simple assault."

This case dates back to March 2012, when two alleged victims say Officer Hopkins assaulted them.

Willie and Shontae Roland say Hopkins made an obscene hand gesture at them when they did not let his car pull out on the road.

Willie Roland says he returned the gesture and Hopkins followed them through Meridian, yelling and trying to show what they thought was a badge. Hopkins was in an unmarked car at the time. The couple said they didn't believe he was a police officer.

A scuffle soon followed, which led to the couple filing an internal affairs complaint.

Hopkins' termination case before the Meridian Civil Service Commission is still pending. mayor Percy Bland attempted to remove four commissioners in February. Those commissioners remain in place but have not had their hearing nor been able to proceed with CSC business.