Officers honor pioneering Black deputy after COVID-19 death

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BATESVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Officers are honoring the first Black chief deputy of a north Mississippi county after he died from COVID-19. James Rudd died Monday at age 86 after he contracted the respiratory illness. Rudd, who had retired earlier from the Panola County Sheriff’s Office, was honored with a procession by police agencies in Batesville on Thursday. He was buried Friday. WREG-TV reports Rudd was first African American chief deputy of the Panola County department. Rudd’s daughter, Maryetta Rudd, credits her father for helping other African Americans to have a career in law enforcement. Maryetta Rudd herself is now a district director for the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

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