As the NYPD turns its back on its elected government and unilaterally refuses to enforce the law, let’s look back at another mutinous, anti-democratic police force that refused to uphold the law — Mississippi’s secret police.
For nearly two decades following the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling against school segregation, a secret state-level agency called the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission conducted surveillance on “subversive individuals and organizations that advocate civil disobedience” – i.e. civil rights activists.
Their primary mission was to resist the implementation of Federal government orders and laws on desegregation in Mississippi. This included aiding county governments in preventing African-Americans from registering to vote. Worse, their surveillance efforts have also been linked to the infamous lynching murders of three civil rights workers in 1964.
You can learn more about this secret police force from the Mississippi Department of Archives.