PETAL, Miss. – A 70-year-old Petal woman known for frequently protesting in front of City Hall was arrested.
Lorraine Bates began protesting outside City Hall following comments made by Mayor Hal Marx in May about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn. She often wore signs calling for justice and an end to police brutality.
Petal Police Chief Matthew Hiatt said police were called to an intersection of South Main Street and Fourth Street around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday where Bates was walking in the road. Bates’ attorney Matt Lawrence said in a statement on Facebook that Bates was walking to Corner Market when she was stopped by two police cars.
Hiatt said Bates had been asked on numerous occasions to not walk in the road. Bates had previously complained to city leaders about the poor conditions of the sidewalks, which make it difficult for her to walk on them with her walker.
Officers at the scene asked Bates to get out of the road and offered to drive her to her destination, Hiatt said. Bates then laid down on the road and wouldn’t move, and Hiatt said officers picked her up and transported her to the police station to issue citations.
According to Lawrence, officers dragged Bates into the car rather than carrying her.
“She told me they flung her around like a rag doll and hit her head on the car’s door jam,” Lawrence said in the post.