In a letter addressed to Department of Justice officials, city and county attorneys say there is no evidence to support allegations that the Meridian Police Department acts as a "taxi service" for the district schools and juvenile center or that the county youth court judges violate children's 4th, 5th, and 14th amendments by failing to provide procedural due process.
"You know, you got to feel like there is a little motive out there when you get the letter and almost immediately, CNN is calling you on the national media, asking you about the letter," Board of Supervisors attorney Rick Barry says.
You may recall the Department of Justice report says that children in the area have "been routinely and repeatedly incarcerated for allegedly committing school disciplinary infractions and are punished disproportionately."
"And what we contend is that if you're going to do an investigation, it should be a fair investigation," Barry says. "It should be fair and impartial. You shouldn't come in here with a hidden agenda. You should come in here to have a fair investigation of all the facts and all the parties. "
The Meridian -Lauderdale County NAACP was not available to talk on-camera Friday, but released a statement saying it is not surprised at the blatant disregard, and denial of reality the county and city was recently charged with by the Justice Department. The statement goes on to say that schools and communities as a whole will benefit from the DOJ investigation.
Click on the slide show to view the letter sent to the U.S. Dept. of Justice.