Police Chief Walks Tall in Tchula

Kenneth Hampton’s reputation for no-nonsense police work began just inside the Tchula city limits on two-lane Highway 12, when a motorist pulled a U-turn to avoid his police checkpoint.

The driver, Earl Anderson, led Hampton and his fellow officers on a chase up the bluff and through the hills east of town, eventually dead-ending at a deer camp in the woods. Hampton fired 12 rounds into Anderson’s vehicle as he attempted to run over the officers.

“The only reason it ain’t 13 is because I ejected a round that was already in the chamber, because I wasn’t sure if it had been chambered,” Hampton says.

Anderson was booked with aggravated assault on a police officer, among other charges, and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation cleared Hampton of wrongdoing in the case. Hampton, barely a rookie, had made his stand.

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Originally published by Mississippi Today on December 31, 2016
Re-published as the cover story in The Oxford Eagle on January 2, 2017

Photo by Abe Draper Photography