Madison County Prosecutor Pamela Hancock

Pamela Hancock, the second-term prosecutor of Madison County, defended herself Monday after posting and later deleting a Facebook comment in which she suggested “the deadly strain” of coronavirus should spread among rioters who are protesting inequity in the criminal justice system.

Hancock, who was first elected county prosecutor in 2015 and re-elected in 2019, wrote the post as a comment to another person’s post: “Does Covid spread during massive street riots or just in bars and restaurants? Asking for a friend.”

Hancock, in a since-deleted comment, replied: “We can only hope the deadly (coronavirus) strain spreads in riots!”

In a phone interview with Mississippi Today on Monday, Hancock defended the comment.

“My job is to prosecute all crimes, including civil disobedience,” Hancock said. “I’m against any breach of peace or criminal activity, and I would prosecute it. I have nothing against people peacefully protesting, but breaking into businesses and stealing things is a crime.”

When asked specifically about her expressed notion that the virus kill rioters, Hancock rebuffed.

“I was really just making light of it,” she said. “I was not serious about wanting anyone to die. That’s not who I am. The post was kind of a joke, and I was attempting to joke back. Obviously, I did it very poorly. If you ask anybody that knows me, I don’t hold any ill will towards anyone or any group. I only try to be fair.”

County prosecutors in Mississippi bring misdemeanor charges against individuals in justice court and county court. Those charges would include disorderly conduct, trespassing and driving under the influence. County prosecutors are elected every four years.



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