October 13, 2016 10:56:42 AM
An attorney representing Mississippi District 41 Rep. Kabir Karriem Wednesday issued a statement suggesting the lawmaker's Tuesday morning domestic violence arrest was politically motivated.
Starkville attorney Austin Vollor spoke on Karriem's behalf through an issued press release.
"Kabir Karriem is a loving and protecting father," Vollor said in the statement. "The rumors and innuendo circulated over the past 24 hours have been hurtful to both Representative Karriem and his daughter. Much of the circumstance of his arrest raises the question of political motivation."
Columbus Police Department is investigating Karriem's case.
Karriem, 43, turned himself in to the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office at about 7 a.m. Tuesday for misdemeanor domestic violence. He was later released on his own recognizance.
Karriem's 18-year-old daughter called 911 to report the incident, which happened at about 7 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Military Road and 14th Avenue North, according to city Public Information Officer Joe Dillon. Dillon did not confirm whether Karriem's daughter was involved, citing a police department policy not to identify victims.
On the "Karriem and Company" radio show Wednesday, Karriem emphasized that he is a "loving and protecting father."
"Before I'm on the radio or business owner or Representative of District 41 I am a father before all things, a protective father," Karriem said on his radio show. "I've lost a daughter and that's a bad feeling and we don't want to lose -- I don't want to lose -- any more.
"The truth is going to come out. It's not all what it seems to be," Karriem later added. "Columbus is a very, very mean spirited place and you have some very mean spirited people in Columbus." Karriem was elected to the District 41 seat in 2015. Prior to that, he served as councilman for Columbus' Ward 5. He was elected to the council seat in 2009.
He was also arrested in April 2010 for simple assault after a scuffle with Mayor Robert Smith at City Hall. That charge was later dropped.
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