The Southern Truth
By Gloria Zuurveen
Last month on August 10, 2023, a little Black boy, Quantavious Eason, had to pee. He had to go and while his mother was visiting in Leigh Ann Darby’s law office in Senatobia, Mississippi, my hometown, he didn’t go inside he went behind his mother’s car instead. His decision to do what most little boys are sometimes encouraged to do when it is an emergency cost him a ride to the police station and he was taken, not by one policeman, but a cadre of them drove up on the private property of Attorney Leigh Ann Darby, a prominent and well known lawyer in Senatobia who is also running for Republican Supervisor, and took this child to jail held him even after one officers had initially spoken with his mom, Latonya Eason, about the Quantavious’ action he had witnessed. She reprimanded her son and she thought everything was ok until other officers arrived on the scene in the parking lot of Attorney Darby and arrested the child, took him to jail saying that the 10-year-old had to go to jail for public urination.
Newsone.com reported that the wrongful arrest also stunned young Quantavious. He said, “I started crying a little bit. They took me down there and got me out of the truck. I didn’t know what was happening,” he said. “I get scared and start shaking and thinking I am going to jail.” All the time this is happening, Darby is not intervening to stop the arrest. She does nothing when she had the authority to stop the young boy from being taken to jail as the incident occurred on her property where the mother, Latonya Eason was conducting business inside of her law office. The mother, according to Mississippi On the Move, an advocacy group Empowering Black people through the injustice, was in the law office seeking legal assistance from a local attorney, who happened to have been Darby because she was having a difficult time getting her kids, Quantavious is one of 13 of Ms. Eason children, enrolled in school due to their being homeless. Patrick “Lumumba” Alexander said they are attempting to gain at least 3-5 months rental coverage, utility deposits, and anything to assist with personal hygiene items and other housing things, that may be needed for Quantavious and his family. Knowing this, Darby did nothing to intervene to stop the cops from arresting this 10 year old child . No. She did not. It appears that Darby political career as a candidate for Supervisor took precedent over a little boy being hauled off to a jail cell that will forever scar his mental mind. When researching Darby, it appears also that she has a history of conduct unbecoming to the judicial system and it seems to be against Black people so much so that the Supreme Court of Mississippi No. 2013-JP-01400-SCT in the case of Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance v. Leigh Ann Darby, removed her from office and fined her $1,000 and assessed costs of $200. However, Darby is still practicing law even though she has such a sordid history of treating people unjustly in Mississippi and especially Black people in Senatobia. Furthermore the legal document against Darby revealed that she was removed for more than one reason. According to agreed upon facts, “This is not Judge Darby’s first appearance before the Commission or this Court. In Darby I, Judge Darby entered an “Agreed Statement of Facts and Proposed Recommendation” with the Commission in which she admitted that “she wrongly imposed sanctions against [a] mother for contempt of court without first affording her the due process rights required in a criminal contempt matter.” The Court agreed with the Commission’s and Judge Darby’s recommended sanction and ordered that Judge Darby be publicly reprimanded, fined $500, and assessed costs of $100. In one case Darby, as a Judge, stipulated to multiple incidents in which she denied citizens their due-process rights. Between May 7, 2008, and September 7, 2010, she “unlawfully ordered the incarceration of” eight parents and denied each his or her “constitutional right of due process” prior to being “order[ed] to jail for conduct allegedly occurring outside of court.” In addition, on or about July 8, 2011, three fifteen-year-old Black minors (two girls and one boy) were arrested by Senatobia police after a neighbor of one of the children complained that they had walked across her yard. Judge Darby, in her official capacity as youth court referee and youth court judge, but without authority of law, ordered that the three minors be drug-tested while in custody. Without conducting any hearings, Judge Darby ordered the minors to be taken into custody and transported to a detention facility in Alcorn County, Mississippi many miles away from their home in Senatobia. Unrepresented by counsel and denied due process, the minors spent Friday until the following Monday in the detention facility. On October 3, 2011, the Tate County Board of Supervisors passed a “No Confidence Resolution” regarding Judge Darby. That resolution declared that it was not in the best of interest of Tate County that she continue in her judicial capacity and called upon the senior chancellor of the district to remove her from all Tate County judicial offices. Judge Darby was suspended from office for a period of sixty days. Thereafter, she tendered her resignation to the senior chancellor.
This pattern of Darby unethical actions is not only against the young but according to court document back in 2006, an 82 year old filed extortion charges against Darby in the case of Opal Edwards LOTT, Plaintiff, v. Leigh Ann DARBY, Moore & Darby, PLLC, Monnita Kay (Lott) Darby and Richard Howard Darby, Defendants. No. 2006-277 CVL. July 12, 2006. The case said that on or about May 11, 2006, while acting in all of her Leigh Ann Darby wrote and (on information and belief), with defendant Monnita Kay (Lott) Darby, hand-delivered a letter and numerous bound attachments to Plaintiff at her address of 3668 Highway 35 South, Holcomb, Mississippi, the same being in Grenada County, Mississippi. Said letter, when read together with its attachments, constitutes a clear and present threat to accuse plaintiffs grandsons with crimes if Plaintiff does not convey one half of all that she owns to defendant Monnita Kay (Lott) Darby; it specifically refers Plaintiff, an elderly widow, to specific provisions of the Mississippi Code which provide that her grandson cannot run for County Supervisor if he is convicted of the felony crime for which accusation is threatened by defendant Leigh Ann Darby, and encloses proposed affidavits whereby criminal charges are to be filed against Plaintiffs grandchildren, namely Michael Lott and Steven Berry Lott. This is the same “Attorney Leigh Ann Darby who is seeking a leadership position as Tate County Supervisor District 1. So the crucial question is why is Darby not being sanctioned from running for any office in Tate County with her horrific record of injustice that has been her forte’ for such a long time in her capacity as a Tate County attorney? Darby’s legal character is questionable when it comes to people in general and Black people specifically in Tate County and yet she has not been disbarred. What’s wrong with this picture? Is it because she is White that she is allowed such leeway that she is being given? Her character as an attorney who has a history of violating children and parents and today it hasn’t stopped as in the case of the arrest of a 10 year old Black boy who was jailed and she, Darby, never said a mumbling word to stop the tragic incident from happening to an innocent child like Quantavious Eason just as she did with the three 15 year old teenagers who also will forever remember the images and mental anguish they all endured because of Leigh Ann Darby and her seemingly willful intent to harm children and residents in Senatobia, Tate County, Mississippi where she is vying for Supervisorial leadership in District 1.
The Southern Truth.