Former state troopers recognized by MS Central State Coalition during their quarterly meeting at Legacy’s office in Forest

MS Central State Tropers Coalition Photo By Nytezia Pinkston

By Jackie Hampton,


(L-R) Lt. Col. Maliki Sanders, Lewis Younger, Connie Slaughter-Harvey, Walter Crosby and R.O. Williams
Photo BY “Tre” Burwell

Members of the MS Central State Troopers Coalition (MCSTC) held their quarterly meeting at the Legacy/Slaughter Library Wednesday, November 10. They received a welcome from the county through Board of Supervisors President Jackie Bradford, welcoming remarks from Morton Mayor Gerald Keeton, a law enforcement welcome from Forest Chief of Police Will Jones and welcoming remarks from Ward I Alderwoman Yolanda White, in whose ward the event was held.   

The local elected officials were pleased to have the Lt. Colonel Maliki Sanders, Captain Craig Morton, Troop Commander Broderik Hutchins and 20 additional troopers here to fellowhip together with MS troopers.

Constance Slaughter-Harvey, who was the attorney in the desegregation lawsuit Morrow v. Crisler, welcomed troopers on behalf of Legacy and the Slaughter Library. She stated, “We have come a long way since the filing of the desegregation lawsuit, Morrow vs. Crisler, in 1970. 

In the case of Morrow vs. Crisler, (5th Cir. 1973) it was held that the fact that there were no black highway patrolman on the state force of Mississippi, which had a black population of 36.7 percent, was sufficient to support the conclusion of the district court that the hiring practices of the department violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Former trooper Richard O. (R.O.) Williams, one of three of the first African Americans to graduate and complete the Highway Patrol Training Academy in 1972, presided during the welcoming portion of the event. Retired troopers Walter Crosby and Lewis Younger were the other two African-American troopers to graduate from the academy. These three troopers were recognized during the meeting and received ovations for their bravery and leadership.

Slaughter-Harvey, who also serves as board president said, “During this month of Thanksgiving, Legacy through its SAVE OUR YOUTH THROUGH COMMUNITY ACTION Stakeholders and Change Agents, pause to express thanks and appreciation to the three African-American highway patrolmen, who were the first to graduate and complete the MS Highway Safety Patrol Acadamy.” She was speaking of Williams, Lewis and Younger. 

Following the welcoming session, Williams conducted business, under the leadership of former MCSTC president James Gunter, in the library board room.

At the conclusion of their meeting, they were treated to a delicious home-cooked feast prepared by Legacy volunteers: Nytezia Donald, Wanda Pinkston, Arnedral Pinkston, Betty Jo Laster, Adrena and Mary Clark. Other volunteers included Roy Pinkston, James “Tre” Burwell, Dorothy Pinkston and Andrew Crudup.

MS Central State Tropers Coalition Photo By Nytezia Pinkston

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