Flaggs: ‘Law and order is important’ in Vicksburg

Published 5:09 pm Monday, May 2, 2022

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said he will continue his efforts to bring law and order to Vicksburg despite the criticism he’s received for supporting the April closure of a bar in the city.

“Law and order are important; to protect the citizens of the community is important to me,” he said. “Zero tolerance of crime is important to me; it’s been important to me since the day I was elected. And the day zero tolerance and crime is not important, then I don’t need to be your mayor because grandmama and your family and my family have a right to be safe.

“Your children and your grandchildren have a right to go out and socialize and enjoy themselves without any type of violent activity.”

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Flaggs’ comments came at the opening of Monday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and about an hour before the board discussed and approved the agreement between the city and the owners of Jacques’ Bar in a closed session. The agreement was listed as “pending litigation” on the board’s agenda.

Vicksburg Police Chief Penny Jones ordered Jacques closed on April 17 after two women were injured in a fight at the bar. It was the third time the bar was ordered closed.

Jacques’ on April 20 filed suit against the city in federal court in Jackson citing a violation of due process under the 14th Amendment. The city on April 22 filed a petition in Warren County Chancery Court seeking to permanently close the business, which remained open during the pending litigation.

The settlement agreement was announced Friday afternoon in a joint statement that said it was “confidential.”

During his opening comments, Flaggs acknowledged the agreement and commended Jones, City Attorney Kim Nailor, Jacques’ owner Jay Parmegiani and his attorney, Ken Rector, for their work in developing the agreement.

“It’s my understanding through my attorney that it’s confidential and anything that I say may be damaging to the settlement. I recognize that,” he said, adding he was “going to do everything in my God-given power to have law and order. It’s important.

“You ought to be able to go to an establishment or an eatery and enjoy yourself,” he said.

“When I shut down LD for him being wrong, nobody said nothing,” Flaggs said.

LD’s Bar and Lounge was ordered closed twice by the city; once in December 2017 and again in October 2020. Both incidents involved shots being fired. The city also closed the Klondyke in 2018 after a man was shot in the business’ parking lot. Each time, Flaggs said, the city’s police chief ordered the business closed.

“I have been consistent on everything I do,” Flaggs said. “I have not shut down anybody; I’ve always stood by the chief of police, whoever that may be. We shut down Klondyke, nobody said nothing. The two places in the Bottom that are shut down right now, I shut down and nobody said nothing. I’ve been consistent; crazy, but consistent crazy.”

Flaggs said Vicksburg residents “shouldn’t have to move out of the way for people who don’t want to uphold the law and respect the law. We shouldn’t do it; we don’t have to do it.”

Flaggs said the board is held to a higher standard “because we promised law and order.”

In his career, he said, he has been called a number of things, “but I’ve never been told I wasn’t fair. I enjoy serving and I’ll continue to serve and be consistent and fair.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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