Moss Point residents protest mayor's veto of police chief - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Moss Point residents protest mayor's veto of police chief

A huge crowd of Moss Point residents chanted and waved signs as they surrounded city hall. (Photo source: WLOX) A huge crowd of Moss Point residents chanted and waved signs as they surrounded city hall. (Photo source: WLOX)
MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) -

The protest continued Thursday in Moss Point over Mayor Billy Broomfield's decision to veto the hiring of Pascagoula Police Sergeant Calvin Hutchins as his city's new chief of police. Residents held a rally on the steps of city hall and said they invited the mayor and board members who voted against Hutchins to attend. They were no-shows and that angered many residents.

A huge crowd of Moss Point residents chanted and waved signs as they surrounded city hall. The goal of the rally was to send a message to Mayor Billy Broomfield. 

"The mayor should never override citizens' will," resident Sharon Smith said.  

The mayor recently vetoed the board of aldermen's four to three vote to appoint Moss Point-native Calvin Hutchins as the new police chief. The mayor said Hutchins who works as a sergeant for the Pascagoula Police Department didn't have the all the qualifications needed to lead the department. The protesters feel that is not true. 

"The three people who posed a nay vote, we are putting them on the spot. We are demanding they make a vote to override the unfair decision," Smith said. 

Organizers claimed they also asked the city leaders who voted against Hutchins to defend their no vote at the protest. They didn't show up, and that didn't sit well with this group. 

"I am very upset about it, and myself and all the citizens of Moss Point have been completely disrespected by it," resident Pamela Dubose said. 

The four aldermen who supported Hutchins did attend the protest.  

"If we come together as a community, we can't be stopped. I am more ecstatic to see the different color faces out here; that it is just not a black white issue," Moss Point Alderman Chuck Redmond said.

They also told the crowd they still believe Hutchins's 20 years of law enforcement experience and passion for the city will make him a great fit for the Moss Point Police Department. 

"We have an opportunity for a good man," Alderman Linwood Grierson said. 

The residents couldn't agree more and said they refuse to let this issue die. 

"It is time for us to step up to the plate and get behind the candidates we know will take care of us and our future," Dubose said.

The organizers of the protest also have a petition circulating in the city in support of Hutchins.  The board of aldermen will meet September 2, and they are expected to vote to uphold or overturn the mayor's veto. Five votes are needed to overturn the decision. 

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